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Saturday, April 14, 2018

How One Brave Female Railroad Worker’s Complaint about Retaliation Resulted in Broader Coverage for Retaliation Claims in NJ and Elsewhere


In New Jersey and some other jurisdictions, there is broader coverage for employees’ retaliation claims against employers thanks to one brave female railroad worker who stood up for her rights against her employer, a railroad company.

This is a story of how one brave blue-collar female railroad worker's claim changed the landscape of retaliation law. It is a story that does not get told enough. In it, is the account of how one female who complained about sex discrimination by her supervisor, and then was subsequently retaliated against by her employer, a railroad company, had her retaliation claim eventually reach the United States Supreme Court. In this matter, Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Ry.


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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What are the differences in the FMLA and New Jersey's FLA?


The Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and New Jersey’s Family Leave Act (FLA) are very similar in that qualified employees working for employers who are covered under the Acts, are allowed time off work in order take care of Certain family members. In some situations, the leaves are for the same purpose and therefore run concurrently. However, in other situations the employees would be entitled to take separate leaves.

To maximize your amount of leave, if you are a New Jersey employee, you should combine entitlements under both the FLA and FMLA where allowed.

The main difference is that the FMLA allows a qualified employee who is working for an employer covered the FMLA to take time off work because of the employee’s own disability or medical condition which renders him/her temporarily unable to do their job, while the FLA does not.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Age Protection Extends to New Jersey Workers over Age 70


Some businesses and public entities incorrectly assume that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) gives age protection only to those workers under 70 years of age. This is because of a clause (frequently misinterpreted by employers to further their own interests) in the LAD stating that nothing in the statute shall be construed to prohibit an employer  from refusing to accept for employment any person over 70 years of age. This clause, as interpreted by the NJ Supreme Court is meant to narrowly apply only to brand new hires, not long term employees who must get their contracts renewed every year and have a pre-existing relationship with the employer.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held allowing employers to not hire back to work a person over 70 after their contract had expired, would have restricted the intent of the LAD and been contrary to law.  Frequently public employees and private employees have a contract to be renewed every year.


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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I’m a New Jersey Executive, Can My Employer Force Me to Fly While I Am Pregnant? Pregnant Employees and the Right to Ask for Accommodations at Work


In today’s economy, most women who are pregnant and work cannot not afford to lose their job. They may need the employer to allow reasonable accommodations or adjustments to their work to allow them to keep safely working while pregnant. In New Jersey, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and goes a step further than some other laws to protect women who are pregnant, have given birth or suffer a related medical condition. A pregnant employee in New Jersey has the right to ask for a broad range of reasonable accommodations to allow her to keep working.

Under the NJLAD, it is prohibited for an employer to treat a woman employee that the employer knows, or should know, is affected by pregnancy in a manner less favorable than the treatment of other employees not affected by pregnancy but who are similar in their ability or inability to work.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

US Supreme Court News for Those Who Report Securities Law Violations: Narrow Interpretation of Whistleblower in Some Instances under Dodd-Frank Act


On February 21, 2018, the US Supreme Court issued its decision in a case, Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Somers, that gives a restrictive interpretation of “whistleblower" in certain instances under the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Dodd-Frank Act established a new whistleblower program in 2010. This program encourages persons to provide information relating to a violation of U.


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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Is Someone Too Old to Do Their Job? Age Appropriateness Is a Social Construct


Age discrimination persists as a pervasive and serious problem in the workplace. What some persons consider to be “age appropriateness” is the result of a social construct that is forever changing. Unfortunately, many employers have not caught up with the fact that age is not a factor that should be negatively held against employees in terms of evaluating qualifications to maintain their position. As long as an employee can fulfill their job tasks, their age cannot make them otherwise unqualified or less qualified for their position. There are 72 year olds outperforming 32 year olds all of the time in many occupations.


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Must My Employer Allow Me to Pump Milk at Work? Accommodations for Breastfeeding Employees


New Jersey breastfeeding employees gained new legal protection from job discrimination under state legislation signed into law which expanded the classes of persons protected from discrimination.  This Article updates the December 2017 article on breastfeeding mothers at work.

First introduced in 2016,  http://www.njleg.state.

Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

If I Reported Other Employees to My Boss, Can I Get Fired? Was this Protected Activity?

Not all of an employee’s reports or complaints to a supervisor about the employer’s business practices that involve other employees are “protected activity”. If it is protected activity and the employer retaliates, the retaliation is illegal.

If an employee reports to a supervisor, that another employee is discriminating, or harassing him or creating a hostile work environment because of the employee’s protected class status, i.e., based on race, disability, age, etc., the reporting about the offending employee is a protected activity under the retaliation provision of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I’m off Work for Pregnancy Illness, Can I Get More Time off for My Baby?

I frequently get asked when a pregnant woman requires time off from work because of her own serious medical condition related to her pregnancy, if she can also ask for additional leave to care for her newborn child. Both the federal statute, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the New Jersey=s Family Leave Act (FLA) allow certain covered employees who work for certain qualified employers, i.e., employers who are covered under the statute, to take time off to care for certain family members under certain conditions.

The major difference between the statutes is that the federal statute, Family and Medical Leave Act, additionally allows an employee to take time off because of the same employee=s own serious health condition, when such serious health condition renders the employee unable to perform the function of his/her employment position.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Has My Boss Retaliated Against Me? What Comprises Retaliation?

Employees may feel as though their job status is in limbo, when after what they believed to be a frank and honest discussion with their boss, they begin to feel a chill in the workplace atmosphere, experience that others are distancing themselves from them (fearing a potential reprisal) and some of the conditions of their employment have changed. It is very disturbing when an employee bought things to the attention of management in good faith, such as what he/she believed were discriminatory practices, unsafe working conditions or that the employer was not adhering to certain legal regulations or guidelines, and felt a burden lifted and all was "now good", only to subsequently think the employer is retaliating for such honest reporting.


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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Can I Sue My Employer for Transferring Me?


Generally an employer has the right to run their business or agency to promote their own financial interests and in the case of a public entity to best fulfill their purpose. The relevant legal term is “bona fide business purpose”. “Bona fide” is Latin for "good faith," and in terms of employment transfers, it signifies that honesty exists in the business purpose for the transfer, and that it is not being done for illegal reasons. One illegal reason would be that you are a member of a “protected class” under the law, and the employer is discriminating against you because you are member of that class; by way of example, you are black and the boss doesn’t like blacks or has a


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