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Weighing State and Federal Options in Job Discrimination Cases

Most people are aware that they have rights if they suffer discrimination at work or are victimized by a hostile work environment. However, many people do not understand the nuances of those rights. Federal and state laws work hand-in-hand to protect victims of discrimination. In most cases, workers can choose which process to use or even use both. In other cases, conduct outside the scope of one law may fall within the other. As attorneys, we help workers understand their options so they can fully assert their rights.

There are several key differences between your employment rights under state law and federal law:

  • Federal employment laws may not apply to some smaller employers.
  • New Jersey employment law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, domestic violence victim status and marital status, and federal law does not.
  • Both federal and state discrimination laws have their own bodies of interpretive case law that may dictate divergent results under some circumstances.
  • Federal and state discrimination laws may offer different remedies.
  • Federal law requires a complainant to use the administrative complaint process, while New Jersey law does not.

Federal and state remedies in employment discrimination matters are not mutually exclusive. Aggrieved employees can often assert their rights under both laws in federal court. By having an experienced workplace discrimination lawyer review your case early, you can form a strategy for effectively preserving and exercising your rights in the most beneficial forum.

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Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch
Senior Partner

About Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for…

Bruce  L.  Atkins Attorney Photo
Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

About Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey's premiere practitioners of employment and civil litigation. Mr. Atkins has also been included in the Thomson Reuters list of New Jersey Super Lawyers* in Employment Litigation since 2005. Mr. Atkins believes employees have rights that should be aggressively pursued when an employer has wrongfully dealt…

Adam  J.  Kleinfeldt Attorney Photo
Adam J. Kleinfeldt
Partner

About Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a…

Robert  J.  Pantina Attorney Photo
Robert J. Pantina
Attorney

About Robert J. Pantina joined the firm in 2018. Mr. Pantina received his B.A. from Rider University in 2008. He received his J.D. from the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in 2017. While in law school, Mr. Pantina interned for the Hon. Bonnie J. Mizdol, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of…

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Diane Englander Peyser
Attorney

About Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins, PC in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins, PC, Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability discrimination, FMLA, New…

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