04.13.2023No Signature, No Settlement: NJ Appellate Division Reiterates Settlements Reached at Mediation Absent a Signed Agreement Are Unenforceable On March 28, 2023, in a published decision in Gold Tree Spa, Inc, v. PD Nail Corp., the New Jersey Appellate Division extended the New Jersey Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Willingboro Mall, Ltd. v. 240/242 Franklin Ave., LLC and confirmed that settlements reached at mediation are unenforceable when the parties do not sign a term sheet before mediation comes to a close, irrespective of whether mediation is voluntary or court-ordered. Although the Gold Tree case involved a commercial dispute, the decision contains important lessons for employers and employment law practitioners.
04.10.2023NJ Appellate Division Rules No Age or Disability Bias in Termination of 60-Year-Old EmployeeOn March 29, 2023, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed an employer’s win after a former employee claimed he was fired on the basis of his age and disability. In Estate of Zoto v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Inc., the Appellate Division ruled that where an employee offers no evidence of age discrimination and fails to submit any documentation of a medical disability to his employer, there is no violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
11.03.2022Timing is Everything: NJ Appellate Division Compels Arbitration of Employee’s Sex Harassment ClaimsOn October 26, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Rourke v. Herr Foods, Inc. once again confirmed that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the 2019 amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) invalidating employment agreements that require employees to waive rights pertaining to claims of harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation. Thus, the employee was required to proceed to arbitration on his sexual harassment, sexual assault and retaliation claims.
03.08.2022NJ Appellate Division Upholds Requests, Not Commands, By Employers to Maintain Confidentiality in Employment InvestigationsOn February 28, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a request for confidentiality by an investigator in connection with a discrimination or harassment investigation is valid and does not violate an employee’s right of free speech or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). In Usachenok v. State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury, et al., the Appellate Division denied an attempt made by a former employee to invalidate a regulation by the State's Civil Service Commission requesting confidentiality in connection with a harassment investigation.
05.24.2021NJ Appellate Narrows the Road in Auto Dealership’s Sexual Harassment CaseOn May 18, 2021, in McBride v. Atlantic Chrysler Jeep, the New Jersey Appellate Division revived a Sales Consultant’s hostile work environment case against a car dealership after the Law Division previously dismissed it in the dealership’s favor. The employee claimed that she was terminated for rejecting her supervisor’s sexual advances and alleged the dealership was vicariously liable for the supervisor’s conduct. The trial court granted the dealership’s motion for summary judgment. On appeal, the Appellate Division overturned the trial court’s decision and sent the case back to the Law Division to proceed to trial.
01.22.20212020: The Year of the Mole? New Jersey Appellate Division Grants Employee A Second Chance to Pursue Whistleblower ClaimIn the final throws of 2020, a former Rutgers employee was granted a second chance to pursue her whistleblower claim. On December 29, 2020, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in Debra Herbe v. Rutgers University, reversed a Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment for Rutgers University in a lawsuit brought by a former employee who alleged that the University fired her in retaliation for lodging a complaint against her supervisor. In the new year, the former employee will get another chance to pursue her claim against the University.
12.10.2020How Pangaea Will Shape New Jersey’s Cannabis MarketplaceAccording to the Appellate Division’s published opinion In re the Application for Medicinal Marijuana Alternative Treatment Ctr. for Pangaea Health and Wellness, LLC. et al. ___ N.J. Super. ____ (App. Div. 2020) the Department of Health (“the Department”) has some explaining to do about its Alternative Treatment Center licensing process.
12.07.2020A Forklift Operator Walks into a BarOn August 7, 2020, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s dismissal of a negligence action filed by a leased warehouse worker against his employer for injuries sustained while on duty.
04.29.2020When an Employee Refuses to “Play Ball”On April 14, 2020, in a published decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Rios v. Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center, held that a plaintiff who alleged he was retaliated against by his employer in connection with the defense of a co-worker’s lawsuit does not have to first demonstrate that his co-worker had a good faith basis for bringing her suit as a prerequisite to his retaliation claim.