Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
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A popular TV commercial features a famous current football player debating a famous retired player regarding which was more important – a good offense or a good defense. A knowledgeable employment discrimination attorney will tell you that, when it comes to pursuing a discrimination case successfully, it is vitally important to have both – powerful evidence that persuasively bolsters the arguments you’re making, as well as effective proof that will blunt the arguments the other side will inevitably make during your litigation.

For an example of what this means, look at the case of R.M., which was reported by northjersey.com. The employer, a nursing facility in Bound Brook, fired R.M., an African American vice president at the facility, from her job in late 2016. According to the employee, the termination was the result of racial discrimination.

R.M. had strong proof that she used both in support of her case and in opposition of the defense’s case. In a discrimination case, one of the most effective forms of circumstantial evidence of your employer’s discriminatory motive that you can have is timing. If, for example, you’re pursuing a pregnancy discrimination or a disability discrimination case, and you have evidence that your employer fired you one week after you notified the employer of your pregnancy or disability, then that timing evidence is very strong in pointing toward discrimination as the real reason for your firing.

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Anyone that’s every worked in an office environment knows that there are certain awkward interpersonal interactions that one must navigate in order to succeed in the workplace. There are things that you’d rather avoid, but sometimes you don’t, just so you can be sure you’re seen as a good “team player.” For one Atlantic County school system employee, though, her effort to be a “team player” eventually turned for the worse and allegedly made her workplace a hostile environment.

That alleged hostile work environment eventually landed the employee, according to a nj.com report, a $185,000 settlement. If you think you were the victim of a hostile environment at work, you should contact an experienced New Jersey hostile work environment attorney about your case.

According to the employee’s complaint, problems started after a new business administrator, P.Y., came on board at the school district and expressed to P.B., who was a secretary for the district, that he was physically attracted to one of P.B.’s friends. P.Y. alleged asked P.B. to facilitate a meeting with the friend, who was also a secretary working for the district, imploring P.B. to “hook a brother up.” P.B. asked the administrator to stop, but he didn’t.

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If you’ve been the victim of discrimination in New Jersey, there may be certain circumstances where you have to argue your case before multiple bodies. For example, some situations may lead to your arguing in an administrative hearing and then later at a civil trial.

If your discrimination case is one of these procedurally complex matters, it is especially important that you have representation from a skilled New Jersey employment discrimination attorney. Your knowledgeable attorney can help, not only in putting together the factual evidence and legal arguments you need, but also in navigating all of the extra procedural hurdles that may exist in your pursuit of the compensation you need.

J.D.R. was one of those employees facing that kind of challenging case. He was a Hispanic male who worked as a housekeeping supervisor at one of the state’s centers for people with developmental disabilities. During his time working at the center, the supervisor had several absences. Even with his attendance history, the employee received a positive performance evaluation in 2015.

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Discrimination law has come a long way in the last half-century. As recently as 50 years ago, a major aviation company refused to hire women if they were mothers to very young children. 30 years ago, American Airlines still had a policy that called for the termination of female flight attendants if they were anything more than quite thin. For example, a 5’5” tall female flight attendant could be fired if she weighed 130 pounds or more.

Today, these types of employment actions and policies could potentially give a harmed worker a winning discrimination claim. They potentially represent a subset of discrimination law called “sex-plus” discrimination. In these circumstances, the employers aren’t committing “regular” sex discrimination, but are discriminating based on “sex plus” one other characteristic, such as sex plus motherhood status. It’s against the law and, if you have been harmed at work due to this type of discrimination, you may be entitled to a significant sum of damages, so you should take the time to contact an experienced New Jersey sex discrimination attorney right away.

Regrettably, this type of discrimination still occurs. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals looked at such a case last year, ruling for the fired employee. That employee, K.C.R., took a job in 2015 as a Pennsylvania-based district manager for a chain of adult bookstores. Her employment duration was extremely short. Her first day was Nov. 9. On Thursday, Nov. 19, she texted C.M., the man who had hired her, to tell him that she had gotten married that previous weekend. On Friday, Nov. 20, she was fired.

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Earlier this fall, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s relatively brief stint as a New Jersey educator became a “hot” topic in the news, especially in relation to the issue of pregnancy discrimination. According to Sen. Warren, her employment as a speech pathologist in Morris County ended in June 1971 when her principal told her she would not be returning in the fall. Warren was six months pregnant at the time.

One might like to think that we’ve moved past the point of employers thinking that, simply because a woman becomes pregnant, that her pregnancy makes her physically feeble, emotionally unstable or otherwise incapable of doing her job. Or that, just because a woman is “showing,” she should not be seen in a workplace. Unfortunately, in too many situations, you’d be wrong to think that. Fortunately, there are laws in New Jersey to protect workers harmed by pregnancy discrimination. If you’re been victimized by this kind of mistreatment, be sure to sure reach out to an experienced New Jersey pregnancy discrimination attorney without delay to discover what legal options may be available to you.

S.P. was a woman who allegedly faced this kind of harm at work. According S.P.’s court documents (Essex County Superior Court Law Division Docket No. L-296-19), a few weeks after she began working for a dermatological medical practice, she told her employer that she was pregnant.

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Sometimes, the facts in your disability discrimination case may seem to be unfavorable, or may seem to you to present an insurmountable hill to climb to reach a successful outcome. Don’t let those “difficult” facts scare you. It may turn out that what seems to you to spell doom is actually nota “deal-breaker” for your case. A skilled New Jersey discrimination attorney may know how to take those facts, difficult ones and all, and still guide your case to get you your day in court.

Check out this case. A.C. was an employee working for a major cable television provider. In 2013, three months after her divorce, A.C. sent a copy of her final divorce judgment to her employer’s human resources department. She also sent HR paperwork about her application to change her name and get a new Social Security.

According to A.C., she thought that was all she needed to do, and that HR would handle everything else the employer needed to do from there, including taking her (now ex-)husband off her employer-provided insurance. Two years later, the employer fired A.C. after 15 years on the job. The firing took place three weeks after A.C. returned to work from gallbladder surgery.

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Weighing a decision to pursue a discrimination lawsuit can be incredibly stressful. If you’re suing your current employer, it may feel terrifying to contemplate taking the entity responsible for your livelihood to court. Even if your discrimination came at the hands of a former employer, you may fear that a discrimination lawsuit will “follow” you around, leaving you blackballed in your industry. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to discrimination but, with the right New Jersey employment attorney, you can succeed and potentially recover a substantial sum in compensation for your damages.

An example of that occurred recently when an employee of New Jersey’s state-owned public transportation system sued her employer… and won. As reported by nj.com, the plaintiff, O.A., was 20+-year employee of NJ Transit who, in 2013, applied for the position of senior director. According to the report, the position required 8 years of transportation experience plus a degree in “bachelor’s degree in planning, engineering, public administration, economics or business.”

O.A., in addition to her two-plus decades of transportation experience, also had the relevant education experience, including two master’s degrees, according to the report. The successful candidate was a woman who had zero prior transportation experience and a bachelor’s degree in political science. The successful candidate was white (O.A. was African American,) and was also much younger than O.A.

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Last month, the New York City Commission on Human Rights issued a new “legal enforcement guidance” document that potentially impacted hundreds of thousands of workers in that city. In the new document, the commission provided new details on forms of conduct that constitute impermissible discrimination and/or harassment.

Even though the city’s new guidance isn’t enforceable in New Jersey, and even though citizenship status isn’t a protected class under the Law Against Discrimination, that does not mean that undocumented workers who suffer harassment and/or discrimination on the job due to their immigration status are without recourse here. There are still other potential options, both under state law and federal law, so you should be sure to reach out to an experienced New Jersey employment attorney about your circumstance right away.

This new guidance didn’t expand the protections of the city’s anti-discrimination and harassment laws – those laws already barred discrimination and/or harassment based on immigration status and national origin. Rather, the new guidance clarified what may constitute immigration status or national original discrimination.

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Succeeding in any kind of civil lawsuit, including a discrimination and/or harassment action, requires a careful understanding of the law and in-depth knowledge of the procedural rules. Often times, though, the difference between success and failure is the factual evidence in your case. Whether it is getting your persuasive evidence in or keeping your opponents’ damaging evidence out, winning these evidentiary battles can frequently be the key to a favorable outcome and are just one more (of the many) reasons why you need to have a skilled New Jersey employment attorney advocating for you.

A recent case involving a sheriff’s department employee was an example of exactly this. J.I. had diabetes, having been diagnosed with Type I at the age of six. Twelve years into his employment, J.I. underwent a pancreas transplant due to his diabetes. After that procedure, J.I. allegedly endured a long string of taunts and insults. The disparaging nicknames included “Half-Dead,” “Mr. Magoo,” “Stevie Wonder,” “Jerry’s Kids,” “Eye Lab,” and “Walking Dead,” according to the employee. All of these taunts about his condition created a hostile work environment, so the employee sued in 2015.

At the trial, the county wanted to introduce evidence about a disciplinary case against J.I. and his partner, in which J.I. was suspended for misconduct and for untruthfulness. The county wanted to argue that J.I.’s displeasure about that internal affairs investigation was the real reason he sued. The employee, however, successfully persuaded the judge that the evidence would do more to create unfair prejudice than it would shine a light on deciding an issue that was before the jury.

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Layoffs… downsizing… reductions in force. All of these words and phrases are prone to bringing anxiety and uncertainty into the lives of workers. Any downsizing can be stressful and scary – and that’s especially true for older workers, as an unplanned job loss may leave them struggling to find a new position quickly that pays what the worker is really worth.

Sometimes, an employer’s reduction in force is more than just an effort to reduce overhead; it’s an attempt to purge older workers from the company’s payroll. When an employer in New Jersey uses a reduction in force to engage in illegal age discrimination, you may have options through the legal system to provide you with compensation for your losses. To find out more, be sure that you speak to an experienced New Jersey employment attorney about the specifics of your situation.

Take, for example, the recent case of C.S., an employee of a company “in the business of moving sensitive data securely between trading partners using encryption software.” In 2012, the company hired a large number of employees in order “enter the electronic medical records market.” Among those new hires was C.S., who was 60 when hired and held the position of Vice President.

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