Articles Posted in Retaliation

Published on:

There might be various reasons why you’d prefer to litigate your New Jersey discrimination case in a state Superior Court as opposed to a federal District Court. (You may have considered issues of speed, cost, the kind of jury that’ll hear your case, or other factors.) Whatever the reason, you and your knowledgeable New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer undoubtedly contemplated the issue at great length, so you want to do everything possible to ensure that your case eventually proceeds in the court you prefer.

There may be various ways you can shield your state court case from potential removal to federal court. An experienced attorney can help you with pleading your discrimination case in a way that avoids unnecessary exposure to removal.

One of those potential exposures is something the law calls “diversity jurisdiction,” as a recent disability discrimination case from Somerset County illustrates.

Continue reading

Published on:

Adding to your family as a result of a pregnancy should be a joyful time. However, for too many parents, especially new mothers, having a baby and caring for that new child is fraught with difficulties at work. These difficulties may include receiving less than all the family leave the law allows, returning to a reduced role after family leave ends, a failure to accommodate breastfeeding, or even termination. All of these things are potentially violations of state and/or federal law so, if any of them have happened to you, do not delay in contacting a knowledgeable New Jersey family leave lawyer.

Earlier this year, a new development occurred in a case we blogged about two years ago. Back in 2020, the Attorney General’s Office had initiated proceedings against a Hudson County home goods company on the basis of discrimination and retaliation.

To recap the case, the worker was a marketing director who became pregnant in 2017. In early 2018, she notified her employer that she planned to take several months off, using federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to recover from giving birth and New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) leave to care for her new baby.

Continue reading

Published on:

When you get hurt on the job and become disabled (either temporarily or permanently) as a result, your employer may fear the consequences… on their bottom line. Many of those same (improper) considerations can take place when you step up and act as a whistleblower. If your employer has taken adverse action against you (such as firing you, demoting you, cutting your hours, etc.) because of the disabling injury you suffered or because you engaged in whistleblowing, then your employer very possibly has violated the law. Don’t assume there’s nothing you can do. Instead, fight back by consulting with an experienced New Jersey workplace retaliation lawyer and finding out more about the legal options that exist for you.

Sometimes, an employer can make a good-faith mistake regarding a less-than-clear issue of how far their legal obligations under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination do (or don’t) extend. (That doesn’t mean that they aren’t culpable for the harm they caused you, as an unintentional violation is still a violation all the same. A more egregious violation may, however, open an employer up to greater liability.)

A lot of times, though, the alleged missteps an employer makes are more obvious. I.F.’s retaliation case against a New Jersey county government fell more into the latter category than the former.

Continue reading

Published on:

As you may know, employers generally are prohibited from retaliating against you if you speak up +and oppose discrimination or sexual harassment (targeted at you or someone else.) However, here in New Jersey the law does more — barring employers from retaliating against employees for standing up and opposing (or threatening to oppose) various law violations, rules violations, safety issues, fraud, or other misconduct. This type of speaking out is called whistleblowing and the Conscientious Employee Protect Act offers whistleblowers substantial protections. If you’ve been punished for speaking out, then you may be entitled to various forms of very important relief, so you should get in touch with an experienced New Jersey whistleblower retaliation lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.

For one Jersey Shore nurse, A.W., it all started when a fellow nurse, according to their local union, “blew the whistle” on the lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at their workplace during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a nj.com report.

A.W., who was also the local union president, backed up those assertions, posting on Facebook about the lack of PPE, hazard pay, and other problems, as well as hosting an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit.

Continue reading

Published on:

There are certain assumptions people often make about people who endure discrimination or harassment at work. One of those is that, if the employee is not fired, they will leave the job on their own. Reality is often more complicated. For a variety of reasons, you might want or need to keep that job despite what has happened in the past, and therefore stay on. By continuing to stay, you may remain vulnerable as a target for additional discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. If that happens, the law allows you to go back to court and seek additional compensation. An experienced New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer can help you ascertain the best way to go about doing that.

Take, for example, P.W., a Black woman who worked for NJ Transit and who allegedly suffered both race discrimination and workplace retaliation. Back in early 2014, she and six other Black NJ Transit employees sued for racial discrimination. The nature of the alleged discrimination was multifaceted, including receiving lower pay than their white peers and unfair treatment as compared to white coworkers. The allegations also stated that a white supervisor used the N-word and placed a makeshift noose around a Black employee’s neck while commenting that that was “how things were handled in the South,” according to a nj.com report.

The plaintiffs in that lawsuit successfully worked out a settlement in that case. The settlement, reached in 2016, called for the workers to receive $3.65 million, nj.com reported.

Continue reading

Published on:

Certain employment cultures place an outsized value on refusing to report misconduct by one’s colleagues to higher command or upper supervisors. Those that do report may be at extreme risk of becoming targets within these insular cultures. Law enforcement can be one of those workplaces. An officer who reports his/her fellow officers risks being tarred as a “rat.” This is especially problematic for female officers, as many of these police departments are also male-dominated workplaces prone to sexual harassment. If you’ve suffered sexual harassment in your police job, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer and find out what steps you can take.

A sexual harassment case from Hudson County allegedly involved a distinct example of this kind of workplace in action. The plaintiff, S.M., was a female officer with the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) of a local police department.

The harassment allegedly began when a lieutenant began stating that the officer’s direct supervisor was her “boyfriend.” According to the complaint, after  S.M.’s protestations, the lieutenant’s harassment only got worse. Other officers told S.M.that the lieutenant had also made comments to the supervisor, asserting that the lieutenant “hoped” S.M. was providing “real good” sexual favors.
Continue reading

Published on:

If you’ve encountered disability discrimination in your job, you’ve likely suffered significant harm. You may have lost earnings; you may have lost your job entirely. You’ve suffered enough; you don’t need to suffer the loss of your discrimination lawsuit before it even gets off the ground because you didn’t have the tools you needed for success. Before you start, make sure have all the resources you need, including an experienced New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer.

The reasons that the right legal representation is so important are many. On TV shows, during the pretrial process, you see attorneys digging through stacks of documents or interviewing potential witnesses. You don’t see all that goes into, say, making a proper demand for the production of documents or correctly noticing a deposition.

Many procedural details potentially can trip up your case. Take, for example, Y.R., an office manager at a dermatology practice. The manager allegedly had peptic ulcers. The employer allegedly failed to accommodate the manager’s disabilities that stemmed from those ulcers. Eventually, in early 2018, the employer fired the manager after nearly 15 years on the job, so Y.R. sued for disability discrimination.

Continue reading

Published on:

In any area of the law, there are obvious cases and there are not-so-obvious cases. While a textbook or a TV show might be a good place to find examples of the former, in the real world examples of the latter are more common. This is why it pays to have a knowledgeable New Jersey employment retaliation lawyer on your side. Just because your case isn’t an obvious one does not mean that it is not a valid or winnable one (far from it.) It just means that it requires the touch of a seasoned legal professional to generate a positive result.

Retaliation cases are one area where this is very true. To win your case, you need proof that you engaged in protected activity and that you suffered an adverse employment action as a proximate result of that activity. The difference between success and defeat, then, may come down to winning the arguments about whether or not what you did was protected conduct and what your employer did was an adverse employment action. These things are often much more “shades of gray” than black-and-white.

A recent federal Title VII retaliation case involving a postal service worker shows what we mean. Allegedly, in September 2014, D.G., who was the postmaster of a post office in Bergen County, experienced an incident where a letter carrier engaged in non-consensual touching, hugging her, kissing her, and grabbing her rear.

Continue reading

Published on:

Many ingredients go into a successful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation case. One of these is having a capable New Jersey employment lawyer who can keep your case on track and moving toward a successful resolution at a timely pace, even when the case, or perhaps even “real life” from outside the case, throws a curveball.

This is so important because allowing such “curveballs” to cause you to miss deadlines or violate rules of procedure can trigger some severe penalties, up to and including dismissal of your case.

S.P. was an example of an employee whose harassment and retaliation case almost got tossed because of problems with pre-trial discovery. S.P., who was a deputy registrar working for a city in North Jersey and also the vice president of the city employees’ “collective negotiations” unit, was fired in 2016 after 15 years of working for the city.

Continue reading

Published on:

Deciding to assert your rights through a legal action in court or with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can be very stressful. One thing you shouldn’t have to fear – but too many workers do – is that your employer will retaliate against you for taking that action. If your employer does that, then they may have created an avenue for you to add a retaliation claim to your complaint. An experienced New Jersey employment lawyer can help you identify when that has happened and what you can do about it.

There are several different forms of proof that can be the underpinnings of a valid retaliation claim, but one of the most persuasive ones can be the timing of events in your case. If you have evidence, for example, that your employer found out about your EEOC filing on January 29 and fired you on January 31, that may stand as powerful proof that your employer did not base that termination on legitimate reasons.

One of the most recent examples of this occurred far from New Jersey. D.W. was a dispatch supervisor for a local sheriff in Louisiana, and she was a Black woman. On Feb. 20, she gave her supervisor a doctor’s note that said that, due to her medical condition, she required three 24-hour shifts off every week.

Continue reading

Contact Information