Executive Summary: On March 10, 2020, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the reinstatement of a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by a medical cannabis cardholder against his former employer, after he was fired for failing a post-accident drug test. The holding confirms medical cannabis users in New Jersey have two potential avenues to bring discrimination lawsuits against employers: the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), and the recently amended Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”).
Articles Discussing New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination.
The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) has released a 25-page guidance explaining its enforcement policies with respect to the state’s equal pay law. The guidance provides much-needed direction to companies navigating the pitfalls associated with compensation systems and policies.
The guidance addresses questions ranging from multistate employees to
An amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to prohibit enforcement of non-disclosure provisions in certain agreements, including employment contracts and settlement agreements, has been passed by the New Jersey Legislature. The amendment could also potentially impact use of jury trial waivers, given the LAD’s jury trial provision. Governor Phil Murphy is expected to sign this legislation into law.
A registered nurse employed by a New Jersey health care system for approximately 10 years may proceed to a jury trial with her disability and perceived disability claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled. Grande v. Saint Clare’s Health Sys., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 746 (July 12, 2017). Summary judgment is not appropriate in this case because significant questions of fact exist, the Court found.
The specific facts presented to the jury will determine whether an award of “garden variety” emotional distress damages is reasonable, the New Jersey Supreme Court has held in an employment discrimination case brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”). Cuevas v. Wentworth Group, A-30-14 (Sept. 19, 2016).
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.
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).
A New Jersey casino did not violate the state’s anti-discrimination law by enforcing a weight standard for its costumed beverage servers, called “BorgataBabes,” a three-judge panel of the state appellate court has ruled, upholding summary judgment for the employer as to the policy.
An employee may contract with his employer for a limitations period for filing discrimination lawsuits shorter than that which is prescribed by the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) (i.e., less than the statutory two years), the New Jersey Appellate Division has held. Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., Case No. A-4329-12T3, 2014 N.J. Super. LEXIS 88 (App. Div. June 19, 2014).
On January 21, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act (PWFA) after nearly unanimous support in the State Assembly and Senate. The PWFA, which took effect immediately, applies to all New Jersey employers and amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to include pregnancy as a protected category. In addition to prohibiting discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, the PWFA requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees who request accommodation upon the advice of their physician unless undue hardship on the business operations of the employer would result.
A unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that individuals seeking punitive damages under the state Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) must present clear and convincing evidence of upper management’s actual participation in the wrongful conduct or willful indifference to the wrongful conduct. Longo v. Pleasure Productions, Inc., et al., No. A-37-11-069257 (July 24, 2013).
Executive Summary: Right after the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions favoring employers in a variety of employee lawsuits based on federal statutes, including retaliation under Title VII, the New Jersey Supreme Court has moved that state in the opposite direction under its corresponding statutes, in Battaglia v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No.A-86/87-11 (N.J. Supreme Court, July 17, 2013). Employers who do business in New Jersey should take note.
Executive Summary: On Friday, September 21, 2012, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a “Gender Pay Parity” bill that imposes a new notice posting requirement on covered employers. The governor rejected a second bill that would have increased reporting requirements for public contractors and sent the remaining two bills back to the legislature with significant amendments.