State Law: New Hampshire

 

The Law

The New Hampshire Law Against Discrimination, which can be found in Chapter 354-A of the Revised Statutes, makes it illegal for an employer or labor organization to discriminate against someone on the basis of sex. An "employee" under the Law Against Discrimination does not include "any individual employed by a parent, spouse or child, or any individual in the domestic service of any person."


Under New Hampshire law, an "employer" does not include "a club exclusively social, or a fraternal, charitable, educational or religious association or corporation, if such club, association or corporation is not organized for private profit, nor does it include any employer with fewer than 6 persons in its employ, but shall include the state and all political subdivisions, boards, departments and commissions thereof."


Thus, the New Hampshire statute against discrimination in the workplace applies to all employers with six or more employees, while Title VII only applies to employers with 15+ employees.

The New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights investigates complaints of employment discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, national origin, and sexual orientation.


New Hampshire has stronger pregnancy laws than federal law provides. It requires that pregnant employees have the option of taking time off for a pregnancy-related illness and be reinstated, even if the employer does not allow other temporarily-disabled employees to take time off. Additional pregnancy discrimination information can be found on the Commission’s website.


Filing A Complaint

The New Hampshire Human Rights Commission investigates complaints filed with it free of charge. Complaints under state law must be filed within 180 days of the date you were discriminated against. You may file a complaint with the Commission by contacting the office via phone at (603) 271-2767 or via e-mail at humanrights@nhsa.state.nh.us. The office is located at 2 Chenell Drive in Concord.


The Commission tries to achieve early settlement in most cases, after which it will conduct an investigation if the complaint is not settled or withdrawn. An investigator will be assigned to your case, who will act as a neutral decision-maker to determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe you have been discriminated against and your rights violated.


If probable cause is found, you and your employer may be required to attend conciliation in an attempt to negotiate a settlement. If settlement negotiations fail, a public hearing will be held before three members of the Commission.

You can review some of the Commission’s decisions . The complete text of the Commission’s findings is available.


You may decide to go through the federal or state court process instead of the Commission’s investigative process. You must first file with the EEOC or New Hampshire Commission and request a Notice of Right to Sue letter in order to file in court. The attorney you hire can explain this process to you. Most cases may be brought in either state or federal court, depending on the number of employees your employer has.


For more information and a more detailed explanation of the complaint process, please visit the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights website.