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Total Articles: 3

New Jersey Court Strikes Down 'Ambiguous' Jury-Waiver Agreement

New Jersey employers wishing to have employees sign jury-waiver agreements should take note of a recent Appellate Division decision, Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., which reaffirms that a jury-waiver provision (like an arbitration provision) must include clear, unambiguous, and sufficiently broad language to encompass all employment-related claims.

Court Rejects Enhancement to Damage Award to Offset Adverse Tax Consequences.

Adding to the divide among New Jersey courts, the Appellate Division held that a trial court should not have increased a $100,000 award for emotional distress damages by approximately $70,000 to offset the adverse tax consequences the plaintiff would incur as a result of the lump sum award in a denial of free speech case.

Punitive Damages Not Appropriate in Negligent Hiring/Retention Case Where Employer Had No Reason to Believe Employee Was a Danger to Customers.

In this case, the Court affirmed a jury’s decision not to award punitive damages against the employer, where the employee attacked a patron with a 10-inch knife following an argument, after which his co-workers retrieved and tried to dispose of the knife. Plaintiff, the victim of the attack, claimed the employer should be punished for ignoring the employee’s “FEAR ME” tattoo, which violated company policy; for refusing to make him remove it promptly; and for hiring him without references and without obtaining a social security number.