Articles Posted in Employment discrimination

Under both New Jersey and federal law, employees have a right to pursue claims against their employers for discriminatory behavior. Although an employee can contractually waive the right to sue an employer for discrimination in a court of law, the waiver must be clear and unambiguous. Recently, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey analyzed what constitutes a valid waiver of the right to sue, in a case in which the Plaintiff alleged her employer engaged in religious discrimination.  If you work in New Jersey and your employer discriminated against you in the workplace you should meet with a skilled New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to discuss your right to seek compensation.

Factual Background of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant employer required the plaintiff, who worked for the defendant as a flight attendant, to review a “training module” which was a series of slides on computer screens that described the defendant’s mandatory arbitration policy. One of the slides in the presentation asked the plaintiff to “acknowledge” the arbitration policy. The presentation further stated that if the plaintiff did not acknowledge the policy but continued to work for the employer for sixty days or more, she would be deemed to be bound by the arbitration policy. The module did not request the plaintiff’s signature indicating she consented to the agreement or ask her to memorialize that she expressly consented to the agreement.

It is reported that the plaintiff, who is a Buddhist, was subsequently asked by the defendant to obtain a vaccine for yellow fever. The plaintiff declined to obtain a vaccine due to her religious beliefs.  The defendant continued to pressure the plaintiff to obtain the vaccine and ultimately terminated the plaintiff due to her refusal. The plaintiff subsequently filed a discrimination lawsuit against the defendant. In response, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, asking the court to compel the plaintiff to submit to binding arbitration. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Continue reading

New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees based on their race, gender, age, and other enumerated classes. If an employer takes adverse employment action against an employee based on the employee’s membership in a protected class, the employee can seek damages, including any wages lost due to the adverse action. In some cases, the employee may be entitled to punitive damages as well. The Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey recently analyzed when punitive damages should be awarded under the LAD, in a case in which the employer was found to have wrongfully violated the LAD. If you are a New Jersey employee who experienced adverse employment actions due to your employer’s discriminatory behavior it is essential to speak with a capable New Jersey employment discrimination attorney regarding what damages you may be able to recover.

Facts Regarding the Discrimination Against the Employee

Reportedly, the plaintiff worked as a part-time night shift dispatch operator for the employer’s taxi service. When she was working one evening, a driver who was an independent contractor sent her messages on social media, touched her shoulder, and whispered in her ear. The following day the plaintiff claimed that the driver called her at work to tell her that he missed her, after which the plaintiff spoke with her supervisor regarding the driver’s behavior. The following day, the plaintiff was terminated.

Allegedly, the extent of the employer company owner’s knowledge of the plaintiff’s complaints about the driver’s behavior is disputed. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the employer and the company owner, seeking damages due to her retaliatory discharge in violation of LAD, lost wages, and punitive damages. Following a trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff damages for the violation of LAD and lost wages from the employer but denied the claims against the company owner and the punitive damages claim. The plaintiff subsequently appealed.

Continue reading

Technological developments and expansions in the global workforce mean that now more than ever companies employ people in a remote capacity. When a remote employee experiences employment discrimination, it can be difficult to determine the proper jurisdiction for pursuing a claim against an employer. Recently, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey discussed the requirements for a court to exercise specific or general personal jurisdiction over a defendant employer in a case involving a remote employee. If you are a remote employee living in New Jersey and are being discriminated against by your employer, you should seek the assistance of a skillful New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to help you pursue damages from your employer.

Reportedly, the plaintiff was a resident of New Jersey who worked from her home for the defendant employer. The defendant employer is a wholly owned subsidiary of the defendant corporation. Both the defendant employer and the defendant corporation were incorporated in Delaware and have principal places of business in Georgia. It is alleged that the plaintiff was terminated in February 2017, after which she brought a claim against the defendants for wrongful termination. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged her termination was due to a pattern of discrimination based on age and sex and for taking medical leave.

Allegedly, although the plaintiff did not work for the defendant corporation, she attempted to establish personal jurisdiction over the defendant corporation by arguing that the defendant employer was merely an instrumentality for the defendant corporation and that both defendants controlled the manner in which she performed her job duties. The defendant corporation filed a motion to dismiss due to lack of personal jurisdiction.

If a plaintiff wishes to pursue a lawsuit to recover damages for employment discrimination, it is important for the plaintiff to include as much factual information regarding the alleged discrimination in the initial pleading as feasible. In some cases, however, information regarding parties who may be liable for the discrimination and potential causes of action will not become evident until a later date. In such cases, a plaintiff may be able to amend his or her Complaint to add additional information or counts.

In a recent case, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey discussed when leave to amend a Complaint should be granted in an employment discrimination case. If you are the victim of discrimination in the workplace, you should meet with a trusted New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to discuss whether you may be owed compensation.

Procedural Background

Allegedly, the plaintiff worked as a business development manager for the defendant for over ten years. He was terminated when he was 54 years old, and replaced with a person over twenty years younger. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant in state court, alleging one claim of age discrimination in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. The defendant moved the case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction. The plaintiff filed an amended Complaint, to which the defendant filed an Answer. Several different scheduling orders were entered, and the case was delayed for various reasons. The deadline for amending the Complaint was never extended, however, and very little discovery was conducted. Subsequently, the plaintiff moved for leave to amend the Complaint to add both new parties and new causes of action.

Continue reading

There are many classes that are protected from employment discrimination under both state and federal law. While some classes, such as race and gender, are obvious, it is not always clear whether other subsets of the population qualify as protected classes.

Recently, the United States District Court of New Jersey analyzed whether ethnicity or national origin are protected classes, ultimately ruling that a claim alleging discrimination based on ethnicity is actionable under the law. If your employer discriminated against you based on your ethnicity or ancestry, you may be owed damages and you should speak with an experienced New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding the discriminatory acts.

Discriminatory Acts of Plaintiff’s Employer 

The plaintiff, who is Slovenian, worked for the defendant employers, who owned a coin and stamp collecting business. The plaintiff alleged the defendants repeatedly told him to “act more Jewish” and to use a different first name or he would be fired. They also disparaged him for his Slovenian ancestry and told him Slovenians were “low-life” and were not respected. The defendants also forced the plaintiff to engage in a fraudulent stamp altering scheme, threatening to revoke his immigration bond if he did not keep the forgery a secret.

Continue reading

While the law provides a right to seek damages due to employment discrimination, a plaintiff does not have a right to endlessly seek retribution. Rather, the doctrine of collateral estoppel, which has been adopted by New Jersey, only allows a plaintiff “one bite of the apple,” or one chance to pursue a claim. Collateral estoppel only precludes claims in certain circumstances, however.

The Superior Court of New Jersey recently analyzed the factors for precluding a claim under collateral estoppel in a case in which it ruled that the plaintiff’s employment claim was not barred by her previous employment-related proceedings in front of an administrative law judge.  If you faced adverse employment action that you believe was due to racial bias or age discrimination, it is in your best interest to consult a skilled  New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to analyze the facts of your case and whether you may be able to pursue a claim against your former employer.

The Plaintiff’s Employment

Allegedly, the plaintiff was terminated from her position at the defendant’s correctional facility due to an inappropriate relationship with an inmate. She appealed her termination and had a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, during which she testified that her supervisor used racial slurs and did not like people of color.  She then appealed to the Civil Service Commission (CSC) who recommended her termination due to the nature of her relationship with the inmate. The Superior Court of New Jersey subsequently affirmed the CSC’s determination that the plaintiff’s termination was appropriate.

Continue reading

It is a commonly known fact that anyone who wishes to file a lawsuit must do so within the applicable statute of limitations. Under New Jersey law, the statute of limitations for filing a claim alleging a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is two years from the date of the adverse employment action.

Recently, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey clarified when the two-year statutory period begins to run. If you were terminated for discriminatory reasons, you should meet with an experienced New Jersey employment discrimination attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and develop a plan for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Termination

The plaintiff was an executive director for the defendant’s cultural and heritage commission from June 2012 until January 23, 2015, when she received a letter notifying her that her position was being eliminated to reduce costs. The letter further stated that the plaintiff would remain on the payroll and receive her full salary through June 30, 2015, and any unused vacation time would be paid to her by July 2015. The plaintiff filed a complaint with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights in February 2015 alleging that her termination violated  LAD, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII, and the American with Disabilities Act. In the complaint, she alleged she was replaced by a younger, non-disabled, non-black individual and that she suffered adverse employment action when she was terminated on January 23, 2015.

Continue reading

New Jersey is an at-will employment state, which means that either the employer or employee can end the employment relationship at any time, for any non-discriminatory reason. As such, in most cases, an employer does not need to provide an employee with a reason for his or her termination. In cases where an employer fires an employee for a discriminatory reason, however, the employee can take action against the employer.

In a case recently decided by the District Court of New Jersey, the court found that the plaintiff had set forth sufficient facts to show that she was discriminated against due to her pregnancy to allow her claim to proceed. If your employer took adverse action against you based on your disability, race, gender, age, or another protected status, you should consult a trusted New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to help you recover any damages you may be owed.

Facts Regarding the Plaintiff’s Employment

Allegedly, the plaintiff was employed in the Child Development Center of the Department of the Navy. In late 2009, it was revealed she was selling bootleg DVDs, which violated the defendant’s standard of conduct, but her job performance was otherwise satisfactory. In 2011, the infant room in which she worked closed and she was transferred to the pre-toddler room. Shortly thereafter, she advised her supervisor she was pregnant. When the infant room then re-opened, she requested to be transferred back and was told pregnant women were no longer being placed in that room. She experienced complications with her pregnancy after which she was restricted as to how much weight she could lift. She was then cleared for full duty, but it was recommended that she be placed in the infant room because the job was less physical.

Continue reading

New Jersey, like many other states, places a high burden on employees seeking to recover on an employment discrimination claim. If a terminated employee is unable to prove each element of an employment discrimination claim it will result in the dismissal of his or her entire lawsuit, as recently illustrated in a case decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey. If you believe you are the victim of employment discrimination you should consult a knowledgeable New Jersey employment discrimination attorney to discuss your options for pursuing damages.

Plaintiff’s Employment History

Reportedly, the plaintiff worked for the defendant, a company that processes workers’ compensation claims. He began working for the defendant in 2001. He initially worked in the call center and was later transferred to the finance department. His last position with the company was as a sales data management coordinator. In 2007, the plaintiff’s supervisor gave him permission to take naps on his breaks. He suffered from Crohn’s disease but did not request any accommodations. He was advised on two occasions that other employees had observed him sleeping at his desk, after which he advised the defendant that he was on medication that made him sleepy but did not elaborate as to his underlying medical condition. He was spoken to repeatedly about sleeping at his desk and advised if he was caught sleeping again, he would get a warning.

Contact Information