Young Workers in New Jersey Have Workplace Rights

August 12, 2011

In the midst of summer, it is important to note that for teenagers, it's the best time of year to find a job. Whether it's picking up shifts at a local retailer or finding work at an ice cream shop along the Jersey Shore, this is the ideal time for young workers out of school.

But while they may be young, they still have rights, just like every other worker. And they can face problems at work, too. Teen work violations in New Jersey must be fought aggressively. New Jersey Employment Lawyers have been fighting workplace discrimination and harassment for decades and believe that everyone should be able to work without added pressures brought on by unlawful practices.
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In recent years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that enforces federal laws that prohibit workplace discrimination, teamed up with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General to educate young workers about the rights they have as employees and how they should and shouldn't be treated. The campaign was also used to educate business owners, to ensure their employees are treated fairly.

One recent case where young employees allegedly faced issues was in Long Island, CBS News reports. The TV station reports a case of three 20-something sisters who have filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against a restaurant where they once worked.

According to the news station, the sisters claim they were routinely subjected to lewd comments and behavior by male co-workers, including a cook who was convicted for groping one of them in 2008. The man was later convicted of attempted sexual abuse and was sentenced to four months in jail, the station reports. The two other sisters say they were routinely touched inappropriately by other workers.

Along with federal protections, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination provides help for employees who face discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, familial status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for military service and mental or physical disability, perceived disability and AIDS and HIV status, according to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

Sexual harassment means unwanted sexual advances, comments, e-mails, requests for sexual favors or unwelcome touching in the workplace. Workers cannot apply sexual pressure in exchange for increased pay, promotions or other perks. It is against the law.

While jobs are tough to get right now, no one should suffer through discrimination at work in exchange for the promise of keeping a job. Fighting an employer to make things right is important and making sure there is no retaliation is critical, too. Don't allow yourself to be stuck in a frustrating and difficult job situation without at least consulting with a New Jersey Employment Attorney.

If you feel your employer has discriminated against you based on age in New York or New Jersey, contact the Resnick Law Group, P.C. at 973-781-1204 or 646-867-7997. We are located in East Hanover, N.J. and Midtown Manhattan on Broadway.