Current Events

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

When Women Don’t Act Like Women-Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - LGBT Discrimination and Title VII’s Prohibition on Employment Sex Discrimination

There has been conflicting interpretations and opinions for decades on whether the Civil Right Act's Title VII prohibition on employment sex discrimination encompasses employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Unlike the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Federal Civil Right Act's Title VII does not specifically include within the statute’s language, the protected characteristics of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Plaintiffs who lived in more conservative states that did not have strong state discrimination statutes protecting employees from LGBT discrimination in the workplace, were left with having to litigate LGBT discrimination claims under Title VII, with mixed results.

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Friday, July 22, 2016

My Boss Called Me “the N-Word’ - Blatant Racial Discrimination in the Workplace

Some African Americans still undergo a disturbing amount of blatant racism on the job, including having a supervisor call the employee the “N-Word” on job. As shocking as these facts are, incidents of blatant racism, such as the “N-Word” or even the extreme symbolism of a noose left laying around in the place of employment, are far more common than generally realized.

One such case, where the employee alleged that he was subjected to the “N-Word” on job,  was filed under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, “NJLAD”, in State Superior Court, with the author of this blog as the Plaintiff’s counsel, and the case settled for six figures.

Imagine coming to work each day for a supervisor who referred to you as the “N-Word”. Could anything be more demeaning or infuriating? The author of this blog currently represents a public state employee in a lawsuit filed in Superior Court, brought under the NJLAD, where the employee alleges he was subjected to being called the “N-word” repeatedly on a daily basis by his supervisor.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Can My Boss Discriminate Against Me Because I Am Going Through a Divorce?

Your boss may not discriminate against you because you are going through a divorce. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently unanimously expanded state law to protect individuals going through a divorce or who are divorced or separated from discrimination based on their marital status. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (N.J.S.
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Friday, July 8, 2016

Can I Go to Court Rather than Arbitration? The Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses in Employment Applications

Employment applications sometimes have clauses stating that any dispute between the employer and employee arising out of the employment relationship can only be resolved by a means of alternative dispute resolution, such as binding arbitration, thereby preventing the employee from filing a discrimination lawsuit in State or Federal Court. Many legal minds, including Hope A. Lang, the author of this blog, think that such “ arbitration clauses” in employment applications are contracts of adhesion, and they should not be enforced, i.e., that a Plaintiff should be allowed to file a lawsuit in court rather than have the matter be resolved in binding arbitration.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

NJ Supreme Court Prohibits Employers from Shortening Statute of Limitations for NJLAD

New Jersey employers’ attempts to radically shorten the filing deadlines for discrimination lawsuits under the state statute have been thwarted by a recent NJ Supreme Court decision. Employment applications sometimes contain clauses that a dispute between the employer and the employee arising out of the employment will have a statute of limitations to file a lawsuit that shortens the two-year limitations period mandated under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination( NJLAD). These contractual type clauses often limit the time an employee has to file an NJLAD claim to a period as short as six months. Whether an individual employer can so contractually bind an employee to give ups his rights to file a discrimination lawsuit under the NJLAD for the full two-year period, which period was intended by the NJ Legislature, is an issue that has been in the courts for several years. 

Finally on June 15, 2016,  the Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed two lower courts, and held that private contractual agreements, such as those that are found in employment applications,  cannot shorten the two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit under the NJLAD.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Can I Be Discriminated Against Because of My Family Responsibilities?

Family Responsibilities Discrimination, which is not yet a state or federal identified law, sometimes  known as “ caregiver discrimination”, is discrimination against employees based on their family-caregiving responsibilities. It involves discrimination against parents of young children, pregnant women, and employees with sick or aging partners or parents. Evidence of such discrimination may consist of: being rejected for hire, harassed, demoted, denied deserved promotion, or wrongfully terminated.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Can I Be Fired for Asking for a Raise?

There is no specific law in NJ that prohibits an employer from firing you because you asked for a raise. An employer can fire an at-will employee for any reason at all, provided it is not an illegal reason. However, depending on the total facts,  the firing could be evidence of a larger pattern of illegal discrimination or illegal retaliation for
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Can I take time off work under the FMLA to care for a parent-in-law?

Taking care of aging parents, or eldercare, by adult children who are still in the workforce is more common than before as people are retiring later in life, the age to commence receiving full social security benefits may be later than before, depending on the recipient’s birth year, and persons are living longer in the U.S. A federal statute, the Family and Medical Leave Act, (FMLA) and the New Jersey Family Leave Act, (FLA) allow certain covered New Jersey employees who need to take time off from their employment for eldercare to take care of a seriously ill parent and certain other relatives. Not all employees are entitled to such leave however, and not all employers are required to give such time to employees for eldercare and the care of younger parents.

Certain persons who provided care for the employee when the employee was younger, in some instances may be the beneficiaries of these two laws.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Sex, Race, Equal Pay and the Wage Gap in 2016

Women who are a racial or ethnic minority may experience employer discrimination based on their sex coupled with their race more then than any other demographic. Synergy is defined as the interaction of two or more characteristics or things that produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. In common terms, when there is synergistic effect, one plus one does not equal two, but equals three or more. Workers who are women and who also are in a
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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Retaliation in the Workplace

In current workplaces, racial and ethnic discrimination in employment can be subtle, particularly in office and other white collar professions,  or shockingly blatant.   People of color who are have higher education and hold state licensed certifications to legally provide highly skilled services, may be relegated to more menial tasks, which do not even require the expertise and knowledge that they acquired through their education and training. Discrimination based on

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Racial Discrimination and Lack of Advancement in Managerial and Professional Jobs

Racial Discrimination is a continuing problem in high income earning managerial and professional positions as well as in blue-collar occupations. The U.

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