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In New Jersey, federal protection is not as important on account of the strong State measures to eradicate the cancer of discrimination in the workplace. This is mostly included in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. In New York, where the State law is not as strong, employees generally look to federal law for protection. The significant distinctions between the employment laws of New York and New Jersey are included in the Garbar published article. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (gender) and national origin.
This also includes pregnancy discrimination which is considered discrimination based on sex. It also includes sexual harassment which is also considered discrimination based on sex. It does not cover any other form of discrimination including, but not limited to, sexual orientation. While this issue has been discussed, both legislatively and judicially, sexual orientation, under the federal law, is not considered a protected class. Title VII is applicable to businesses with 15 or more employees and the damages, for compensatory and punitive damages combined, max out at $300,000.00. Compensatory damages include damages which are more difficult to quantify, i.e., emotional distress, pain and suffering. The cap of $300,000.00 is for employers which employ 500 or more employees. Caps of $50,000.00, $100,000.00 and $200,000.00 are applicable to employers which employ 15-100 employees, 101-200 employees and 201-500 employees, respectively.
Back pay (money owed to employee from the date of termination to the date of judgment) is not capped. Neither is front pay. However, both can be limited or eliminated as an award all together, if an employer can demonstrate that the employee failed to mitigate his/her damages. In plain English, mitigation of damages means that if an employee believes he/she has been terminated from employment on account of discrimination, the employee victim must make an effort to find employment elsewhere. The law does not mandate that the victimized employee locate a job. The law mandates that the victimized employee make a reasonable effort to find a job.
Do I need an attorney if I've already been offered a settlement?
The offer you received from the insurance company is almost certainly less than what you are entitled to, by a significant margin. Insurance companies, just like any other business, are structured to maximize their own profits, and in addition to offering a minimal amount in any settlement, they will also commonly employ aggressive tactics against claimants like you to discourage requests for full compensation. We can not only advise you of what your case is really worth, but also provide skilled representation to help you recover damages.
How much is my case worth?
Each personal injury case is unique, and your attorney will consult with you in detail to help you determine the full value of your claim. In any fair settlement, you should expect to receive enough money to cover all your medical bills, from emergency treatment at the scene of the accident to rehabilitative care to help you fully recover. Claims of this nature should also cover the amount of income you will lose due to the injury from missing work or inability to perform on your job, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
A variety of factors will play into how long it takes to get your insurance settlement, from the availability of evidence to support your claim to how cooperative the insurance company is and how effectively you can prepare your case. At our firm, our legal team takes every case seriously and we will do everything possible to achieve a successful resolution for you. We will also keep you informed throughout the entire process about what you may be up against and how long you can expect your case to take.