Being subjected to discrimination in the workplace is very difficult. It can also be difficult to see your co-worker being subjected to discrimination. Unfortunately, even though discrimination in the workplace is illegal, both on the national level and state level, every day, a large number of employees face discrimination in the workplace.
If your co-worker is being discriminated against in the workplace, you may be wondering whether you should report the discrimination. You may be wondering whether you will get fired if you decide to report the discrimination. You should know that reporting workplace discrimination is a protected activity under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD).
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
In New Jersey, the LAD makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on actual or perceived race, gender, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, and other protected activities. For example, according to the New Jersey LAD, an employer cannot fire someone, refuse to hire or promote someone or pay someone less money because of their race.
Apart from prohibiting discrimination, the New Jersey LAD prohibits retaliation against an employee for complaining about or reporting workplace discrimination, even if the discrimination is directed at another employee. Retaliation is any adverse action taken by an employer against an employee. This means your employer is prohibited from firing you for reporting discrimination directed at your co-worker.
It is crucial to note that the LAD protects you even if you are not a member of the same protected class as your co-worker who is being subjected to discrimination. For example, this means the LAD protects you if you are a white employee who decides to report discrimination against a black employee and vice versa.
Can Your Employer Fire You if You Report Discrimination Directed at a Co-worker?
Unfortunately, just because the law prohibits your employer from firing you for complaining about or reporting discrimination directed at your co-worker does not mean they will not fire you if you do so. The New Jersey LAD cannot guarantee that your employer will not retaliate against you for reporting discrimination. You might get fired if you report discrimination directed at another employee.
However, because the New Jersey LAD makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for complaining about or reporting discrimination, you have legal recourse if your employer fires you after you report discrimination directed at a co-worker.
Should You Report Discrimination Directed at Another Employee?
This is quite a sensitive question. If your co-worker is being discriminated against in the workplace and you are wondering whether you should report the discrimination, it is best that you seek legal counsel. Before deciding whether to report discrimination, you need to consider several things. For example, you need to consider your employer’s track record. Suppose your employer has a history of ignoring discrimination complaints or reports and retaliating against employees who complain about or report discrimination. In such a case, reporting the discrimination carries risks. A qualified employment lawyer can help you determine the best way to proceed.
Contact Us for Legal Help
The decision of whether to report discrimination directed at another employee can be a difficult one. If you need assistance making the right decision, contact a skilled and dedicated New Jersey employment lawyer at the Trabosh Law Firm.