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New Jersey Supreme Court Broadly Defines “Marital Status” Discrimination

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently interpreted the state’s antidiscrimination law in an expansive manner, concluding that a broad spectrum of individuals can file suit and claim that their employers unfairly discriminated against them on the basis of their marital status. Not only will plaintiffs who believe they were targeted for mistreatment on the basis of their current marriage be able to find refuge under the law, but also will those engaged, separated, divorced, widowed, or even those who have never been married.

New Jersey Supreme Court Nixes Shortened Timeframe for LAD Claims

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently overturned the longstanding policy of permitting employers and employees to agree to a shortened timeframe for an employee to file a discrimination suit under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). The case, Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., concerned the enforceability of a shortened statute of limitations contained in an employment application. The language in dispute, written in all capital letters and bold font, stated, “I agree that any claim or lawsuit relating to my service with [Defendant] must be filed no more than six (6) months after the date of the employment action that is the subject of the claim or lawsuit. I waive any statute of limitations to the contrary.” The plaintiff signed the application and began his employment.

New Jersey Employers Cannot Reduce Employees' Time To File Discrimination Claims From Two Year Statute Of Limitations, Rules Unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court

Executive Summary: The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that employment agreements shortening the time in which an employee may file a discrimination claim against his or her employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) are unenforceable. In a decision issued June 15, 2016, the Court unanimously ruled (6-0) that a six-month time limit for filing claims contained in an employment application was unenforceable and did not bar the plaintiff's disability discrimination claims. See Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., No. A-27-14 (June 15, 2016).

N.J. Employers No Longer Able To Shrink Lawsuit Time Limits

The New Jersey Supreme Court just ruled that employers are not permitted to shorten the time frame that workers have to file a discrimination claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), reversing a 2014 appellate victory. The decision means that employers will want to revise their applications and other agreements to eliminate any offending language that otherwise shortens the two-year statute of limitations. However, employers may find some small measure of solace in the decision, as it may actually work to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against you (Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co. Inc.).

New Jersey Legislative Update: Paid Sick Leave Bill Stalls Again, But Minimum Wage Hike Advances

New Jersey legislators have delayed a vote on the Paid Sick Leave Act to allow the Assembly and Senate a chance to settle their disputes over the bill’s impact on small employers and its preemptive effect on municipal ordinances mandating paid sick leave. These are the same issues that led to failure of the March 2016 vote in the legislature.

New Jersey Bills Would Burden Employers with Scheduling and Pay Rules

Both the New Jersey General Assembly (A1117, reported out of committee on April 4) and Senate (S1397, introduced on February 11, 2016) have introduced bills to enact the “New Jersey Schedules That Work Act,” a law that would dramatically curtail New Jersey employers’ ability to schedule their employees’ shifts.

New Jersey Legislative Update, Part II: What’s in the Works for New Jersey Employers?

On March 14, 2016, a bill (A3471) was introduced that would require all employers in Essex, Hudson, Camden, Mercer, and Middlesex counties to pay their employees at least $20 per hour from January 1, 2017, through January 1, 2022, at which point the minimum wage would revert to the state’s current minimum wage.

Jersey City Proposes Groundbreaking Minimum Workweek Ordinance

The City of Jersey City, New Jersey, recognizing that building service employees compose “a significant portion” of those who work in the City, is considering an ordinance to establish a minimum 30-hour workweek for them. The measure, launched by City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr., and backed by Mayor Steve Fulop, seeks to mandate that employers provide certain building services employees with at least 30 hours of work per workweek.

New Jersey Bill Requires Notification to Employees of Schedule Changes 14 Days in Advance

A bill making its way through the New Jersey legislature provides that an employee may request, and an employer must consider, changes to work hours, work locations, and more consistent work hours, among other terms and conditions of employment, as a matter of right. The employer, in turn, must engage in a “good faith interactive process” to consider the employee’s request and explain the basis for any denial.

New Jersey Bill Could Dramatically Change State Class Action Litigation

On March 7, 2016, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Senate that, if enacted, would dramatically alter class action litigation in New Jersey. The bill, S1845, would permit litigants to immediately appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court judicial determinations as to the certification or decertification of a class of plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit. Such interlocutory appeals would be allowed as a matter of right. Under the existing system, a litigant who wishes to challenge a class certification determination must file a motion for leave to file an interlocutory appeal, which is rarely granted.