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Disability Discrimination

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, 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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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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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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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

When My Employer Won’t Allow Extended Leave for Medical Treatments


This Article updates the Thursday, October 12, 2017, post, “Employer Breast Cancer Discrimination Because I Am Female?” which described the case of a corporate executive, a female who was head of original programming for a major cable television network, was fired in while on medical leave for breast cancer.

Sometimes an employer illegally discriminates against a woman with breast cancer because of a bias against women in addition to disability discrimination. One of the more common forms of discrimination against a female worker with breast cancer is when the employer will not allow an extended FMLA leave or another type of accommodation that the employer routinely gives to male employees with cancer.


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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I Work for a Small Employer, Can I Get Time Off for My Own Medical Condition?


It comes as a surprise to many that the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which grants family and temporary medical leave under certain circumstances, does not apply to all employers and that not all employees are covered under the Act.

Which Employers Are Required to Give FMLA Leave?

For the FMLA to apply, the employer, if a private employer, must have 50 or more employees. Private employers with fewer than 50 employees are not covered by the FMLA, but may be covered by state family and medical leave laws.

However, if you are an employee for a government agency, including elementary and secondary schools, local, state and government agencies, the FMLA applies to all such employers, regardless of the number of employees.

If My Employer Has over 50 Employees, Does That Mean I Will Be Allowed FMLA Leave?

Persons have come to me assuming that if they work for a large employer, they will automatically be entitled to leave under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Employer Breast Cancer Discrimination Because I Am Female?


Unfortunately, yes, it sometimes happens that an employer illegally discriminates against a woman with breast cancer because of a bias against women in addition to disability discrimination.  One of the more common forms of discrimination against a female worker with breast cancer is when the employer will not allow an extended FMLA leave that the employer routinely gives to male employees with cancer. Rising female executives may still have to combat a good old boys' club atmosphere which is hostile to the advancement of woman.


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Monday, April 10, 2017

Employer’s Failure to Investigate Alleged Employee Rule Breaking Leads to $ 4.5 Million Verdict


A recent Federal case in Florida underscores the importance of an employer doing a thorough investigation. In Axel v. Fields Motorcars of Florida, Inc., No. 8:15-cv-893-17JSS (M.


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