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.