Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the New Jersey Civil Rights Act

The New Jersey Civil Rights Act provides a remedy for many important civil rights. However, most people are unfamiliar with the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. This article answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the New Jersey Civil Rights Act.

Q. What is the New Jersey Civil Rights Act?

A. The New Jersey Civil Rights Act was passed in 2004. It creates remedies for violations of certain provisions of the New Jersey Constitution, the United States Constitution, and other New Jersey laws.

Q. Which of my rights are protected under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act?

A. The New Jersey Civil Rights Act protects a broad range of legal rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to petition the government, equal protection of the law, and due process of law. It also creates a remedy for other rights protected by the United States Constitution, the New Jersey Constitution, and other New Jersey laws.

In addition to providing a remedy for violations of those legal rights, the New Jersey Civil Rights Act prohibits anyone from interfering with any of those rights, or attempting to interfere with any of those rights through threats, intimidation, or coercion.

Q. Can I file a lawsuit under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act?

A. You can file a lawsuit under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act only if the person who violated your rights was acting “under color of law.” That basically means the person who violated your rights was working for, or acting on behalf of, the local, state, or federal government.

Q. Does the New Jersey Civil Rights Act still protect me if my civil rights were violated by someone who was not acting on behalf of the state, local, or federal government?

A. Yes. However, you cannot file your own lawsuit. Instead, you can file a claim under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act with New Jersey’s Attorney General. The Attorney General then has the option to bring a civil lawsuit on your behalf.

Q. What are the remedies available to me if I win a case under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act?

A. You can recover damages to compensate you for the harm caused by the violation of your civil rights, potentially including lost salary and benefits, and damages for emotional distress. You also can recover your attorney’s fees and legal costs. In addition, the person or government entity that violated your civil rights can be required to pay a civil penalty to the State of New Jersey.

To learn more about your rights under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, contact an experienced New Jersey employment law and civil rights attorney.