Green Savits Employment Law Blog

Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey

February 24, 2018

On  February 21, 2018, the United States Surpreme Court ruled 9-0 in Digital Realty Trust v. Somers that whistleblowers cannot bring a claim under the Dodd Frank Act if they did not notify the Securities and Exchange Commission in writing.  While this is considered a blow to protect whistleblowers, there are still three different ways for an New Jersey employee of a publicly traded company to vindicate their rights.

First, a case can still be filed under the Sarbanes Oxley Act as long as an administrative complaint is filed within 180 days of awareness of retaliation.  Then, after 180 days has passed and OSHA has not addressed the...

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January 23, 2018

When Naomi Parker Fraley was 20 years old in 1942, she was photographed in her work uniform performing her job duties at the Naval Air Station in Alameda, California. She began work there right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor where her duties included drilling, patching airplane wings and riveting.  Unknown to her until very recently, that picture was used for the poster "Rosie the Riveter" that was distributed throughout the country during that war.  Ms. Fraley was not identified as the young woman used for the famous poster until 2016 by Dr. James Kimble, associate professor of communication and the arts at Seton Hall...

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January 02, 2018

In recent months, there has been a lot of publicity and public discussion about sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct.  One thing that is clear is that it is still rampant throughout our economy and men like Bill O''Reilly and Harvey Weinstein had repeatedly acted badly throughout the years with their only punishment being that they paid their victims off to keep them quiet.  The question is, should there be laws passed to ban confidentiality agreements when sex harassment cases are settled. Although such agreements played a substantial role in allowing people like Harvey Weinstein to continue his abusive and illegal conduct for many...

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November 07, 2017

Last week, I settled a difficult age discrimination case for a substantial six figure number (which must be kept otherwise confidential as to its terms). Even though the lawsuit was brought under New Jersey's anti-discrimination lawsuit, the case was filed in New Jersey federal district court. Why?  Because our client worked out of his home office in New Jersey but the company and indiviudals involved in firing him all lived and worked outside of New Jersey thus creating what is known as diversity jurisdiction. This means that the employer could choose to remove/transfer the case to federal court because of a statute passed by Congress in...

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August 08, 2017

These days, it is very difficult to prove age discrimination under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act that was enacted by Congress in 1967. However, the NYT article is incorrect in terms of the legal standard to prove age discrimination under the federal law.  When referring to the U.S. Supreme Court's Gross case, the article says that an age discrimination victim is required to prove that his/her age was the sole motivating factor; this is not true.  In fact, a subsequent U.S. Supreme Court case ruled that federal statutes than contain the phrase "because of" means that an age discrimination victim need only prove that her/...

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July 26, 2017

The federal  3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia yesterday overturned the dismissal of an in-house patent lawyer's claim that he was fired because he refused to participate in conduct that would have violated the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct governing attorneys and the rules of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  In that case, a  French beauty company required patent in-house counsel to satisfy a quota of patent applications which if not met, would result in termination.  Plaintiff objected that he could not submit applications that did not have a good faith basis to be patentable which violated NJ RPC’s...

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July 24, 2017

The New York Times just published an article on how GoDaddy is trying to eliminate sexism in the workplace.  This is the same company whose advertising was notoriously salacious and degrading to women.  With the hiring of CEO Blake Irving, the company has engaged in a campaign that looks at everything including criteria for performance evaluations that disfavor women to changing job descriptions that favored implicit male aggression.   To see what GoDaddy is doing, first click on the title of this blog and then click on the word, article.

The tech industry is notorious for its sexist and ageist ways.  If you are employed in the...

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July 17, 2017

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals (covering New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Virgin Islands) ruled last week that a supervisor's use of the "n" word while threatening to fire African American employees is sufficient to allow a lawsuit to proceed under federal civil rights statutes.  The appellate decision reversed the trial court's dismissal of the case and stated that the district court relied on the wrong legal standard when doing so.  Click on the decision to see why the court ruled as it did.

If you believe that remarks in the workplace about you and your status are so severe as to make your work environment hostile...

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July 07, 2017

Elizabeth Spiers, founder of The Insurrection, who is not a lawyer but well versed in the IT field had an uncanny take that sexual harassers who selectively harass some women but not others should not be let off the hook.  She is correct in her assessment that this is no defense when it comes to prosecuting sexual harassment cases.  Her article, which is published on Linked-In, can be be viewed here.

The tech industry's reputation as a young "bro" culture has been born out in cases that we have litigated against tech companies.  This is especially true with regard to female employees and older employees of both genders.  If you...

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June 29, 2017

In 2010, Congress passed the Dodd Frank Act which in part was designed to expand legal protection to whistleblowing employees of publicly traded companies who disclose, object to or refuse to participate in conduct that violates federal securities laws. On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to decide whether the Dodd Frank Act protects a whistleblowing employee who objects to federal securities laws violations to company management but not to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Thus, the Supreme Court will resolve conflicting rulings...

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