In the state of New Jersey, both state and federal law make it illegal to discriminate against a person on the basis of their ancestry. Ancestry refers to the place where your ancestors came from, and though this is different from national origin (which refers to the place where you yourself were born), the two types of discrimination are closely tied to one another. Discrimination based on ancestry is often tied to issues of race, color, and nationality. It can take many forms, but generally is based on language, physical appearance, cultural customs or dress, or a combination of these.
Ancestry discrimination is prohibited under federal law by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate on the basis of a number of protected classes. New Jersey has established its own state law – the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination – which provides the same protections against adverse hiring or firing decisions, unfair treatment in places of public accommodation or housing, not being given a deserved promotion, or not receiving equal pay, fringe benefits, or training.
Issues of ancestry discrimination are extremely similar – and in many ways indistinguishable from – discrimination based on national origin, race or color. National origin discrimination can be a result of prejudice, tensions or stereotypes about people from a specific country or their customs. The only real difference between that type of discrimination and discrimination based on ancestry is that the individual who is being discriminated against is not from that country, but their parents are grandparents or other ancestors were. In Addition to providing a cause of action against an employer for ancestry discrimination, the federal and state discrimination laws also make it illegal to retaliate against any individual who makes a complaint or assists in an investigation or proceeding about an ancestry discrimination issue. Additionally, employees may report an employer for publishing a recruitment ad for a job that includes a discriminatory limitation based on national origin or ancestry.
If you believe that your ancestry has caused unfair or retaliatory treatment at your job or you have been denied a job or promotion based on your family’s place of origin, then you need the support and counsel of an experienced ancestry discrimination attorney. At Schorr & Associates we aggressively advocate on behalf of our clients’ rights. Call us today to learn more.
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Watch our short video on the subject below. Contact us if you have any questions.
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