Disparate job treatment is a special type of discrimination where different groups of individuals are not treated the same within the workplace. Most often, disparate job treatment cases come about when members of a protected group, such as women or ethnic minorities, are treated less favorably than men or people of different ethnicities. The disparate treatment often involves lower wages but can take a variety of different forms, such as reduced benefits, stricter disciplinary action, or any other unfair treatment. Regardless of the specific details surrounding a situation, however, disparate job treatment is illegal under New Jersey law.
A common example of disparate job treatment involves employees who have similar jobs with similar performance records. Assume that the only difference between the employees is that one is male while the other is female. If these similarly situated workers then violate a company rule or policy, they should be disciplined in similar ways. Disparate job treatment would come about if the female employee were fired for violating the company policy, but the male employee only received a slap on the wrist for breaking the same rule. On the other hand, if the female employee had committed multiple violations, and the male employee had only committed one, then there may not be disparate job treatment, and the firing may be permissible.