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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

I Am a NJ, Non-Tenured, Pregnant Teacher; Does My Employer Have Right to Not Renew My Contract, to Not Rehire Me for the Next Academic Year? Part II


While Boards of Education have the right to choose which non-tenured teachers will have their contracts renewed and which they refuse to renew, the refusal cannot be based on illegal reasons. Motherhood is foremost for the continuation of the species! Pregnant women should be protected and supported, not discriminated against! As explained in 


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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

NJ Age Discrimination Employees and S.485, Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act


Earlier this year, the US Senate introduced a bill, S.485, Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). This bill amends the Federal Statute, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 which would make it easier for age discrimination plaintiffs to prevail in lawsuits brought under the ADEA. This bill’s intent is to establish that it is an unlawful employment discrimination practice when the plaintiff demonstrates that age or participation in investigations, proceedings, or litigation under such Act was a motivating factor for any unlawful employer’s action, even if factors other than the age, or  participation in investigations etc., also motivated the employer’s action against the employee.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I Am a NJ, Non-Tenured, Pregnant Teacher; Does My Employer Have Right to Not Renew My Contract, to Not Rehire Me for the Next Academic Year? Part I


Pregnant teachers in NJ are subject to the same anti-discrimination laws as are employees in other professions and this is true even when the pregnant teacher is non-tenured. Motherhood is foremost for the continuation of the species! Pregnant women should be protected and supported, not discriminated against!  I have successfully represented pregnant, non-tenured teachers whose contacts were not renewed and succeeded in recovering money for them.

Boards of Education have the right to decide which non-tenured employees’ contracts will be renewed and which will not be renewed. However, a decision to not renew cannot be based on an illegal reason. Pregnancy is a defined protected class pursuant to the New Jersey Pregnant Worker's Fairness Act (PWFA).


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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

NJ Professional Women Sexually Harassed by Supervisors at Work


Sexual harassment at work continues to be a problem because it is largely not reported. New Jersey Courts and the US Supreme Court have therefore made it an initially lighter threshold burden to prove a retaliation claim for reporting the sexual harassment than an underlying sex discrimination claim.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-pervasiveness-of-sexual-harassment-in-todays-white-collar-workplace-300679484.


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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Statistics Show NJ Employees Who Suffer Racial Discrimination at Work Fare Better in State Court than Federal Court


In New Jersey, employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace under both Federal and State laws. Statistics show that race discrimination employees plaintiffs fare better in New Jersey State Court than Federal Court. If you work in NJ, there are other advantages to filing in State Court under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), rather than pursuing your race claim under Federal law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. A race discrimination Plaintiff can file a NJLAD lawsuit against his employer in State Court without first having to exhaust administrative requirements in a process that is required under the Federal Law, Title VII.  If a person wants to file a race claim under Title VII, he must first file an administrative claim with the EEOC.


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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Earned Sick Leave for Reasons Other than Sickness, Such as Addressing Domestic or Sexual Violence or Attending Child’s School Conference- EELC Part II


If you are a Covered Employee under NJ’s Earned Sick Leave Law, you may be paid for time off for certain situations which address domestic or sexual violence against yourself or a family member, including counseling sessions and attending court proceedings, and for attending required meetings or conferences called by your child’s teacher or school administrator.

Permitted usage of earned sick leave is as follows:

§ 34:11D-3 a). An employer shall permit an employee to use the earned sick leave accrued pursuant to this act for any of the following:

(1) time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee;

(2) time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member;

(3) absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence;

(4) time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, by order of a public official due to an epidemic or other public health emergency, or because of the issuance by a public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or

(5) time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event requested or required by a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability.

Do I have to supply advance notice to my employer if I want paid sick leave off?

The ESLL articulates several conditions and steps as to its notice requirements. Under the statute, § 34:11D-3 b).


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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Does My NJ Employer Have to Pay Me for Sick Days? ESLL, Part I


Generally, the most likely answer to this is “Yes”.  New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law, “ESLL”, changes the rights of employees from pre-existing state laws which had no standardized requirement for employers to pay sick leave. With the new law, ESLL, a covered employee starts earning paid sick leave from the first day of work but is not eligible to use it until he has worked for 120 days. The new law applies to all full-time, part-time and temporary employees with some exceptions. Employers of all sizes must now provide employees with up to 40 hours of earned sick leave annually in order to care for themselves or a family member.


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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Can I Prove My NJ Employer’s Fake Job Elimination, When My Employer Says My Job Is Being Eliminated in a Restructuring?


Terminated employees or employees who were put on notice that their job position was soon to be eliminated, have come to me in a quandary when they suspect their job was not really eliminated. All too frequently, their instincts prove correct - it was a fake job elimination. Attorneys must employ several legal strategies to uncover the economic reality of a so-called “job elimination”.


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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

When a NJ Employee Has an Autoimmune Disease and Experiences Age Discrimination


Workers who are younger and have an autoimmune disease that limits some of their activities may ask for an accommodation for their disability at work and the employer may comply and allow the accommodation. Yet the same employer may express a reluctance to make a change in a employee’s work environment or a change in that person’s job duties when the worker is older. A corporate mindset that older workers are not as valuable as younger workers is epidemic.

“Autoimmunity” has been defined as when a person's or organism's otherwise healthy defense system of immune responses changes and turns deviant against the person or organism, becoming a system of immune responses going anomalous against its own healthy cells and tissues.

Autoimmune diseases are often most frequently associated with aging, but there are medical and scientific studies that dispute the truth of this conventional wisdom, and these studies suggest a wide spectrum of causation factors other than age, or at least in addition to age, to be the main contributing factor for contracting autoimmune diseases.


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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

NJ Employees Have Whistleblower Protection under CEPA and Common Law


NJ employees have Whistleblower Protection under both the CEPA statute and the lesser known common law, which whistleblower common law protection in the legal profession is referred to as a “Pierce” claim.

The relevant statutory whistleblower protection is the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). CEPA, under § 34:19-3, mandates in part that an employer is prohibited from taking any retaliatory action against an employee because he/she discloses, or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or public body; or objects to, or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice of the employer that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law,  or is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety or welfare or protection of the environment, or, in the case of an employee who is certified health care professional, reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care.

An employee’s whistleblower statute claim under CEPA arises when the employee reports or refuses to participate in as described above, what they reasonably believe to be the employer’s illegal conduct and is then suspended, terminated, or has other retaliatory adverse action taken against him/her by the employer.

Under NJ’S common law claim, an employee has a whistleblower cause of action, a “Pierce claim,” for wrongful termination when the termination is contrary to a clear mandate of public policy.


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Friday, August 2, 2019

Can I File a Retaliation Claim Even If I Am Denied Workers' Compensation Benefits?


Yes, if your employer discriminated in any manner against you because you attempted to file a claim for benefits, even if you are denied benefits, you may file a claim for unlawful retaliation. A NJ Workers’ Compensation Retaliation claim may be filed in State Court. New Jersey employers are strictly prohibited from retaliating against a worker for filing or attempting to file a claim for Workers' Compensation benefits.

In its anti-retaliation provision, N.J.


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