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Doubling Down on the FAA: NJ District Court Strikes Down the NJLAD’s Prohibition Against Arbitration
Earlier this year, in a matter of first impression, the Monmouth County Law Division in Janco v. Bay Ridge Automotive Management Corp. held that the amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) which prohibits a waiver of any right or remedy available under the NJLAD was superseded by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In its decision on March 25, 2021 in New Jersey Civil Justice Institute v. Grewal, the United States District Court followed suit and enjoined the State AG from enforcing Section 12.7 of the NJLAD that would invalidate arbitration agreements between employers and employees. This decision represents a significant victory for employers on the enforceability of arbitration agreements in harassment, discrimination and retaliation cases in New Jersey.
Cause & Effect: NJ Appellate Division Rules Correlation Does Not Imply Causation in Disability Discrimination Suit
On March 4, 2021, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Kalim v. Urban Outfitters, Inc. affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of a former employee’s wrongful termination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
Let’s Go to the Video Tape: NJ Appellate Division Rules Video Dooms Nurse’s Age Discrimination Case
On March 3, 2021, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the dismissal of a 49-year old Nurse’s age discrimination case against St. Peter’s University Hospital. The Nurse, who was fired after using force to restrain a hospital patient, claimed the incident with the patient was merely a pretext for age discrimination, even though the surveillance video demonstrated otherwise.
FAA Trumps NJLAD: NJ Superior Court Upholds Employer’s Arbitration Agreement in NJLAD Case
In a matter of first impression, the Monmouth County Law Division in Janco v. Bay Ridge Automotive Management Corp., found that a former employee’s claims brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination were subject to the arbitration agreement that she signed when she was first hired. The Court further held that the recent amendment to the Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) which prohibits a waiver of any right or remedy available under the NJLAD was superseded by the Federal Arbitration Act.
Requiring the COVID-19 Vaccination at Work: Issues for NJ Employers to Consider When Developing a COVID-19 Vaccination Program
We have seen recent articles speculating on whether employers can require their employees to take an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment or continued employment. Here, without giving any legal advice, for private (non-governmental) New Jersey employers, odds are that this type of employment rule will be permissible, with certain limitations, discussed herein.
New Jersey Enacts New COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protocols
Effective 6:00 am on Thursday, November 5, 2020, pursuant to Governor Phil Murphy’s October 28, 2020 Executive Order 192 (“EO 192” and “Order”), every New Jersey business which operates with employees and customers physical present at the worksite, will be required to comply with the State’s new COVID-19 workplace safety protocols.
Harris Freier Insight on COVID-19 Lawsuits in the Workplace Featured in New Jersey Law Journal
Partner Harris S. Freier was recently interviewed by New Jersey Law Journal for their article “People Are Now Suing Their Bosses Over COVID-19 at Work, But Can They Win in Court?”
NJ Supreme Court Enforces Arbitration Agreement Despite Failure to Specify Forum, Arbitrator, & Governing Law
On September 11, 2020, in a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that New Jersey law does not require that an arbitration agreement identify the arbitrator, name the arbitral forum, describe the arbitrator selection process, or provide for the governing law, so long as the agreement to arbitrate includes a clear and unmistakable waiver of the right to a jury or other civil trial of the claims.
Don’t Fear The Click-Box: NJ Supreme Court Upholds Electronic Employee Arbitration Agreements
On August 18, 2020, in a landmark decision for employers, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its long-awaited opinion in Skuse v. Pfizer (A-86-18) (082509), holding that an employee must arbitrate her employment discrimination claims agreed to in an electronic employee arbitration agreement. The decision reverses the Appellate Division’s January 2019 decision, which had imposed heightened requirements on employers obtaining employees’ assent to arbitration agreements.
Supreme Court Finds Federal Law Bars LGBT Employment Discrimination
The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held today that the ban on sex discrimination in the federal employment law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, covers employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender identity.
Is That Even Discrimination? New Jersey District Court Reiterates That Disabled Employees are not Immune to the Effects of Negative Job Performance
On April 13, 2020, the District Court for the District of New Jersey granted the employer’s Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed an employee’s claim of disability discrimination in the matter of Rooney v. NVR Inc. The Court determined that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate that a genuine factual dispute existed to suggest that Defendant terminated his employment based on his disability.
School’s Out: Third Circuit Upholds Termination of Former History Teacher for Instruction on Holocaust Denial Theories
On February 22, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of discrimination, hostile work environment, and wrongful termination claims filed by a former non-tenured high school History teacher, and self-proclaimed non-practicing Muslim of Egyptian decent
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) Releases COVID-19 FAQ's
On March 19, 2020, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) released a Guidance addressing frequently asked questions regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Specifically, the DCR addresses protections and obligations under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
Key Employer Take-Aways from Long-Awaited Guidance on New Jersey's Equal Pay Act
On March 2, 2020, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued Guidance on the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (Equal Pay Act) – the New Jersey law requiring employers to offer equal pay to employees performing substantially similar work.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Practical and Fast Facts for Employer Planning
As employers work on strategic plans for handling employment-related issues involving Covid-19, such as possible facility closings, tele-commuting, and employee leave/compensations issues, employers should keep in mind these fast facts.
Proposed Amendments To The NJLAD Will Change The Management Of Harassment, Discrimination And Retaliation Claims In The Workplace
New Jersey’s Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued Findings and Recommendations on Preventing and Eliminating Sexual Harassment in New Jersey (the Recommendations) in February 2020. Governor Phil Murphy released proposed legislation aimed at strengthening New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination around the same time.
Appellate Division Again Reminds Employers: Don't Rush the Interactive Process, You've Made that Mistake Before
On December 6, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division in V. L. v. Hunterdon Healthcare et. al., reversed and remanded a trial court’s order dismissing an employee’s claims of disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
Natural Hair, Don't Care: New Jersey Bans Hair-Based Discrimination
On December 19, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed an amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) banning discrimination against a person’s hairstyle or texture.
New Jersey Salary History Ban Takes Effect January 1
A reminder to New Jersey employers that the new law prohibiting employers from screening job applicants based on their pay history takes effect on January 1, 2020.
“What Goes Around, Comes Around” – A Potential Defense to Hostile Work Environment Claims Under the NJ LAD
On November 7, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Paige v. Atrion Communication Resources, Inc., et al., considered a hostile work environment/sexual harassment claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) by a receptionist who alleged she was constructively discharged as a result of her supervisor’s conduct.