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Thursday, January 3, 2019

NJ Gay Employees, Sexualizing by Employees and the Double Standard


While strides have been made for LGBTQ persons (lesbians and gays particularly with the passage of the 2015 Marriage Equality Act) a double standard exists in some workplaces that results in a less than friendly workplace for LGBTQ workers. This double standard results in a work environment where sexual orientation for LGBTQ employees is still sexualized as documented in a study earlier this year released by the Human rights Campaign.

Sexualizing Gay Employees and the Double Standard

While non-LGBTQ persons may regularly make light conversation or comments regarding their dating situation, they may not accept LGBTQ workers doing the same because they fear hearing about an LGBTQ person’s sex life. The same is true for LGBTQ workers who are married or in other long-term committed same-sex relationships.

Sexualizing LGBTQ persons also occurs when a co-worker or supervisor think they have a license to make sexually inappropriate jokes or comments because they wrongly believe that these comments are sanctioned because of the out-of-closet employee’s gender identity or sexual orientation.


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Saturday, December 29, 2018

My NJ Boss Does Not Approve of Inter-Racial Dating and Inter-Racial Marriage


It is illegal in New Jersey for an employer to discriminate against an employee because of that person=s relationship to or association with a member of a protected class, including race, under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. This is called, "Associational Discrimination."

While the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination does not expressly identify associational discrimination as a distinct claim, numerous state and federal courts have upheld associational discrimination claims to be construed in accordance with the principals set forth in discrimination statutes, whose purpose is to eradicate discrimination. 

In a case against Karistos Corporation, a Caucasian female food server claimed she experienced many instances of racial harassment during the seven months she worked as a waitress at the diner where she was employed. Several of her coworkers made racially derogatory comments, including frequent use of the N-word, about her romantic relationship with an African American man, her fiancé, who was the father of her children.


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Thursday, December 20, 2018

NJ Employee’s Hidden Disability


Disabilities under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) may be visible or hidden, physical or non-physical. Disabled persons’ Companion dogs are not necessarily service dogs under the statute. Disabilities such as a heart condition or breast cancer may not be apparent to a supervisor or onlooker. An employee who has a disability which requires an accommodation should notify the employer in writing about the disability and the accommodation required. This is particularly true when it is a hidden disability or when it is not readily discernible unless it is brought to one’s attention.


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Thursday, December 13, 2018

My Co-workers are Racist, but My Boss Isn’t, Cat’s Paw Liability


Sometimes an employee believes another employee who is racist is “gunning to get them fired” even though the racist employee himself does not have the power to hire or fire employees.When a supervisor or manager who is not racist terminates a person, the terminated employee may wonder if he could ever have valid race discrimination claim. The terminated employee may have a valid


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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

NJ Employers Need to Make Room for Those Age 85 and Older in the Workplace


Many employees 80 years and older want to keep working. This is due to an economic necessity as well as a life-style choice. Employers need to recognize the changing demographics of this country and allow their employees age 85 and older to remain employed.

Persons frequently think of the generic class of seniors as those age 65 and older. Today, the most rapidly growing segment of the generic "senior" age group are persons in the more upper end of this senior age group, i.


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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Employment Protections for the National Guard and Reserve


If your employer is not treating you fairly because of your military service obligation, you should contact an experienced employment attorney because you have employment protections under federal law and New Jersey law. Those in the Armed Forces should be rewarded and not penalized for their service to this country.

Those in the Armed Forces or are serving or training in the Army National Guard and Air National Guard have rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). USERRA applies to all kinds of employers and requires employers to allow participation in military service by those who perform voluntary or involuntary duty in the uniformed services.

The “uniformed services” include the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Public Health Service Com.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pregnancy Discrimination at Work Can Be a Triple Bias in NJ


A worker who is pregnant and experiences a negative change in her employer’s attitude after disclosing her pregnancy to the employer, is experiencing three types of discrimination- sex, disability and pregnancy discrimination - rolled into one bias. If you are pregnant, protections for you exist under numerous federal and state laws. If your employer failed to renew your annual contract or terminated you after you disclosed to your employer that you are pregnant, or if upon returning from a pregnancy leave, your employer did not hold your job for you, you may be eligible for back pay, front pay and damages.

Until the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) was amended to specifically include “pregnancy” as its own protected class, lawyers bringing claims under the NJLAD had to allege sex and/or disability discrimination, because pregnancy at that time was not its own distinct class requiring protections.

Male workers who requested time off or a reasonable accommodation for a disability due to a medical condition related to their reproductive systems,  were frequently allowed a reasonable accommodation or time off for medical leave to properly deal with their disability, while  pregnant women who requested an accommodation that will allow them to maintain a healthy pregnancy, or who needed a reasonable accommodation while recovering from childbirth, were either terminated, or not had their annual contract renewed or otherwise removed from their positions based on bogus reasons given by the employer.


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

NJ Gay Men Should not Suffer or Be Treated Disparately


NJ gay men shouldn’t suffer or be treated disparately at work, yet many feel compelled to remain in the closet in the workplace for fear of repercussions. This is true no matter whether the men are six-figure earning, upwardly mobile, while-collar executives or blue-collar laborers. Fear of repercussions can keep gay men isolated and feeling alone on the job in return for a sense of perceived job security and advancement.

The repercussions could be disparate treatment directly by the employer or harassment from co-workers. If you think you are being treated disparately or denied opportunities by your employer, or if you are being ridiculed or harassed by co-workers because you are, or because others have a perception that you are gay, or because of your associations with other gays, you should contact an employment law attorney who is experienced in handling sexual orientation cases.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Can I Keep Working If I’m over Age 80 and My New Jersey Boss Wants Me Retired?


With few exceptions, New Jersey employees who are 80 years of age and older are entitled to the same protection from employment age discrimination as are their younger co-workers. Claims brought by employees who are 80 years of age and older are likely to increase because workers who are 80 years and older are comprising an ever-increasing share of New Jersey’s workforce. I have successfully represented octogenarians who were either terminated or being forced out of their job because of their employer’s age bias and was successful in obtaining monetary compensation for them. There are few exceptions, example, certain statutes stipulate mandatory retirement ages for some defined public employees, or in the presence of a bona fide occupational qualification- example, i.e.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NJ Workers and Drivers Using Own Tools and Trucks May Have Whistleblower Protections


NJ workers who exclusively use their own tools, be it carpentry tools or even a truck, are not necessarily independent contractors in terms of whistleblower protections. For example only, a whistleblower claim may be that a commercial driver complained about being forced to drive excess hours without sufficient break time in violation of State regulations for those holding commercial drivers licenses (CDL), and that the employer/business then retaliated against the driver for complaining. NJ workers owning their own tools of the trade, such as commercial drivers and others,  have asked me if they have a NJ Whistleblower claim under New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act, § 34:19-2 (CEPA) if their employer considers them to be an independent contractor. The employer, for numerous reasons to benefit the employer and to the detriment of the employee, sometimes purposely mis-classifies a driver or other worker to be an independent contractor rather than an employee and reports the worker’s year-end earing by way of a 1099 rather than a W-2 or pay the driver in cash. Owing your own tools of the trade, by way of example, carpentry tools if a construction worker, plumbing tools if a plumber, or even owning your own chemical transport truck that you use to transport toxic chemicals for a business, does not automatically make you an independent contractor for purposes of whistleblower protections.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

African Americans, New Jersey and Present-Day Race Discrimination


Discrimination against Blacks is not being eliminated as quickly or thoroughly as federal legislation of the 1960'S had envisioned. This is true in liberal and multi-cultural New Jersey, not just the traditionally more conservative states. 

According to one US government agency, shockingly, a approximately one third of all state charges filed with it in New Jersey for year 2017 were for race discrimination.

Thankfully, many protected classes are receiving the benefits of both New Jersey State anti-discrimination statutes and Federal legislation designed to eliminate the cancer of discrimination against minorities. Unfortunately, sadly and ironically, African Americans, the group which originally inspired the Civil Rights Movement and resulting legislation of the 1960's, may experience discrimination and employment disparate treatment because of the color of their skin.


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