N.J. Stat. § 10:5-13

Current through L. 2020, c. 37.
Section 10:5-13 - Filing complaints, prosecution; jury trial; remedies; damages
a.
(1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful employment practice or an unlawful discrimination may, personally or by an attorney-at-law, make, sign, and file with the division a verified complaint in writing which shall state the name and address of the person, employer, labor organization, employment agency, owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, or agent alleged to have committed the unlawful employment practice or unlawful discrimination complained of and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and shall contain such other information as may be required by the division. Upon receipt of the complaint, the division shall notify the complainant on a form promulgated by the director of the division and approved by the Attorney General of the complainant's rights under P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), including the right to file a complaint in the Superior Court to be heard before a jury; of the jurisdictional limitations of the division; and any other provisions of P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), without interpretation, that may apply to the complaint. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, the Attorney General, the director, or the Commissioner of Education may, in like manner, make, sign, and file such complaint. Any employer whose employees, or some of them, refuse, or threaten to refuse to cooperate with the provisions of P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), may file with the division a verified complaint asking for assistance by conciliation or other remedial action.
(2) Any complainant, including any person claiming to be aggrieved by an unlawful employment practice or an unlawful discrimination, the Attorney General, the director, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, or the Commissioner of Education, may initiate suit in Superior Court under P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) without first filing a complaint with the division or any municipal office. In such proceedings:
(a) Upon the application of any party, a jury trial shall be directed to try the validity of any claim under P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) specified in the suit.
(b) All remedies available in common law tort actions shall be available to prevailing plaintiffs, and if the Attorney General or the director is a prevailing plaintiff, those remedies shall be available on behalf of named or unnamed victims. If the suit seeks relief for one or more unnamed members of a protected class, the Attorney General or the director shall have the discretion to settle the suit on such terms as the Attorney General or the director deems appropriate. The injunctive relief set forth in section 16 of P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-17) shall also be available to prevailing plaintiffs. These remedies are in addition to any other provided by P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) or any other statute.
(c) In addition to the remedies set forth in subparagraph (b) of this paragraph, the Attorney General or director may seek and obtain from the Superior Court penalties pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1983, c.412 (C.10:5-14.1a). In the alternative, in lieu of these penalties, the Attorney General or director may seek and obtain punitive damages payable to the State upon a finding that the provisions of P.L.1995, c.142 (C.2A:15-5.9 et al.) are satisfied.

Prosecution of such suit in Superior Court under P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) shall bar the filing of a complaint with the division or any municipal office during the pendency of any such suit.

(d) If a jury or court determines that an employer has committed an unlawful employment practice prohibited by subsection r. or t. of section 11 of P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-12), the judge shall award three times any monetary damages to the person or persons aggrieved by the violation.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 6 of P.L.1979, c.404 (C.10:5-27.1), if the Attorney General or the director is a prevailing plaintiff, the court shall award reasonable attorney's fees and litigation and investigation costs.
b. At any time after 180 days from the filing of a complaint with the division, a complainant may file a request with the division to present the action personally or through counsel to the Office of Administrative Law. Upon such request, the director of the division shall file the action with the Office of Administrative Law, provided that no action may be filed with the Office of Administrative Law where the director of the division has found that no probable cause exists to credit the allegations of the complaint or has otherwise dismissed the complaint.
c. A party to an action based upon a violation of P.L. 1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) shall mail a copy of the initial pleadings or claims, amended pleadings or claims, counterclaims, briefs, and legal memoranda to the division at the same time as filing such documents with the Office of Administrative Law or the court. Upon application to the Office of Administrative Law or to the court wherein the matter is pending, the division shall be permitted to intervene.

N.J.S. § 10:5-13

Amended by L. 2019, c. 436,s. 5, eff. 1/21/2020.
Amended by L. 2018, c. 9,s. 3, eff. 7/1/2018.
L.1945, c.169, s.12; amended 1949, c.11, s.8; 1960, c.59, s.2; 1963, c.40, s.7; 1979, c.404, s.1; 1990, c.12, s.2.