Articles Posted in Employment discrimination

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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