Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
Phillips & Associates
Avvo Clients Choice Awards 2014
10 Best Law Firm 2017
National Employment Lawyers Association
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
ABA - Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
Lawyers of Distinction
Superlawyers
NYSTLA
New York County Lawyers' Association
Published on:

One byproduct of the opioid epidemic is the number of people who are in treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) and who are also employed or seeking employment in this state. For that group of people, the laws that prohibit disability discrimination offer certain substantial protections, which means that, if you’ve been denied employment or suffered workplace punishment because of your treatment, you may be able, with the help of a knowledgeable New Jersey disability discrimination lawyer, to win a lawsuit under federal and/or state anti-discrimination laws.

The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division reaffirmed and highlighted this aspect of disability discrimination law recently. The division’s new guidance document, entitled “The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Opioid Crisis: Combating Discrimination Against People in Treatment or Recovery,” highlight various ways that employers may run afoul of laws barring disability discrimination, and what those employees can do about it.

The guidance document reaffirmed that OUD is considered to be people with a disability under federal law. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), therefore, bars discrimination against most people with OUD who are not currently using. That includes people taking drugs (like methadone) that a doctor prescribed for them as part of their OUD treatment.

Continue reading

Published on:

When one endures a hostile work environment, it may occur for many different reasons. It may be due to your race/color, your gender, your religion, your disability, your ethnicity/nationality, your gender identity, your sexual orientation, or some other basis. Other times, you may be a member of more than one of those protected groups and the harassment you receive may be based upon the combination (or “intersection”) of those groups. Either way, it’s illegal and an experienced New Jersey hostile work environment lawyer can help you in pursuing your legal options.

As an example of this, there’s B.R., who worked as a detective for the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office in South Jersey. B.R. was a woman and also homosexual. As a lesbian, she allegedly endured a hostile work environment that included an array of humiliating actions and comments perpetrated by the county prosecutor and others in the office.

After B.R.’s sexual orientation became known at work, the harassment began. First, there were the slurs, with a fellow detective allegedly calling her the misogynistic “C-word” epithet. Then there was the homophobic rhetoric, with the same detective allegedly commenting that he’d prefer that his child “die from an overdose than be gay,” as well as comparing B.R. to a pedophile by suggesting that, if same-sex marriage was legal, child marriage should be a legal option for pedophiles.

Continue reading

Published on:

When you need to pursue a discrimination lawsuit in New Jersey, your case needs several things, not the least of which is something called an “adverse employment action.” This is just one of many essential components your case needs to succeed. To make sure you have everything necessary for a positive outcome, be sure that, before you start, you’ve retained a knowledgeable New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer.

Any of a range of actions can be adverse employment actions. It is fairly cut-and-dried that things like terminations, demotions, suspensions without pay, disciplinary “write-ups” or actions, reductions of pay or hours, or negative performance reviews are adverse.

As the recent age and disability discrimination case of one New Jersey woman shows, the array of actions that can qualify as adverse under employment law is not limited only to those listed above.

Continue reading

Published on:

For some, the hostile work environment you experience at your job is a seemingly daily grind. The harassment keeps happening over and over… and over. For others, their harassment is something different. It happened only one time but that one time was something incredibly egregious like an uninvited sexual grabbing, squeezing, slapping, groping… or worse. Be aware that, even if that is the only instance of harassment you endured, you can still sue and win. Even a single incident can be enough if it was sufficiently severe. To find out if you have a case, talk to an experienced New York City sexual harassment lawyer.

D.B. was one of those people in the “not pervasive but severe” category of hostile work environments.

She was a senior director of global market access and had worked for her employer (plus its predecessor) for 16 years. Then, in September 2017, while attending a work conference in Canada, she encountered her company’s president and CEO of global specialty medicines at a cocktail reception. Seeking to introduce her subordinate to the CEO, the director approached the man. They spoke for a few minutes then, as D.B. turned to walk away, the CEO slapped her on the rear.

Continue reading

Published on:

Advocates of a Congressional bill seeking to ban discrimination against natural and protective hairstyles suffered a setback recently when the measure failed to secure the votes it needed in the House of Representatives. Fortunately for workers in New Jersey, this kind of race discrimination is already expressly forbidden as a violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination so, if it happens to you here, you can secure a New Jersey race discrimination lawyer and take action under the LAD.

Measures to make discrimination against natural hairstyles a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws have emerged in each of the last two Congressional sessions. Two years ago, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker proposed the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, or CROWN, Act of 2020.

The bill has not passed the senate and, recently, a similar measure suffered a defeat in the House of Representatives, as well. The house measure, H.R. 2116, was sponsored by New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. Proponents sought to pass the bill on a “motion to suspend the rules,” so it needed a 2/3 vote. Because representatives voted in support by a margin of only 235-188, it failed.

Continue reading

Published on:

Modern technology – including smartphones – has fostered many wonderful advancements, including work-related ones. It also, however, has come with drawbacks. One is that many workers feel like they’re “on the clock” or “on-call” 24/7. Another is even more harmful – and that drawback regards sexual harassment. These days, a supervisor or coworker who seeks to harass likely can do it anywhere, anytime via your phone. Inappropriate comments, jokes, or images sent from a supervisor or coworker via texts, social media direct messages (“DMs”), or emails, can potentially make for a successful sexual harassment case, even if that activity happened in the hours outside work. If that’s happened to you, a knowledgeable New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer can provide you with customized advice based on your specific situation.

S.J. was allegedly one of those workers. She worked as a legal assistant for a very large law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey. One of the male attorneys at her office (in Morristown) allegedly sent her a lengthy array of inappropriate text messages. The texts, which allegedly numbered more than 100, included both verbal content (one message discussed kissing the woman’s intimate areas and another suggested that the pair engage in intercourse in the office of the woman’s boss) and visual content (a picture of the man’s private parts in a state of arousal.)

The woman eventually pursued a federal Title VII case for sexual harassment in the federal court for New Jersey. Very recently, the woman won an important battle to include a censored depiction of the man’s nude photo as an exhibit in her sexual harassment case, despite strong opposition from the employer, the ABA Journal reported.

Continue reading

Published on:

If a coworker has sexually assaulted or otherwise sexually harassed you on the job, you almost certainly have certain expectations of your employer. You likely expect that, after you submit a complaint notifying your employer of the assault or harassment, the employer will initiate an investigation that is prompt, diligent, and thorough. If your employer doesn’t do that, then they may be liable to you under both the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and federal law, so you certainly want to get in touch with a knowledgeable New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer about your situation.

Having that skilled legal representation on your side can be crucial. That’s because there’s a lot that goes into litigating a case like this successfully. You have to amass the witness testimony and documentary evidence necessary to prove your claims. Additionally, in some cases, you may need an expert witness to explain certain things to the jury. An expert may provide essential evidence by shedding light on some relevant topic that is outside the knowledge base of your average juror.

The hostile work environment case of a South Jersey woman was one of those times. The plaintiff, L.M., was a patient care technician at a dialysis center in Washington Township. The woman’s hostile work environment claim alleged that a male coworker sexually assaulted her, that she reported it to the employer but that, even after that complaint, the employer failed to take the appropriate measures, thereby creating a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

Continue reading

Published on:

Most all of us have heard the phrase “he said she said.” It often conjured to mind scenarios where there’s little evidence available other than the statements made by the individuals involved. When your “he said she said” incident is also a case of sexual harassment or sex discrimination where you were the victim, the whole thing may seem incredibly daunting. Don’t be intimidated, though. Instead, get in touch with a New Jersey sex discrimination lawyer who can help you map the best route forward.

One reason not to despair is something called a “motion for summary judgment.” This is something that the defense often does and, when successful, it gets your case thrown out of court before ever making it to trial. When unsuccessful, though, it opens many doors, including giving you your day in court and also, many times, leading the defense to approach settlement (if you potentially are open to a settlement) in a more fair, reasonable, and meaningful way.

“He said she said” cases are often prime examples of the kinds of cases in which the defense is not entitled to a summary judgment. Take, for example, the case of A.M., a port authority locomotive engineer who alleged that she endured a sex-related hostile work environment.

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

Contact Information