Discrimination

Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey

Just a year and a half ago, the New Jersey legislature passed the New Jersey Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act (“PWFA”), which prohibits pregnancy discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. However, the PWFA does not affect an employee’s entitlement to paid or unpaid leave. This begs the question, what maternity/paternity leave is an employee entitled to?

The Los Angeles Times published an article today about women leaving the IT industry in droves. As the article points out, women are not considered able to execute fast enough or even to be entrepenuers.  Given the projected expansion of the tech industry over the next decade, the tech industry's biased view of women is tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.  In any event, this male stereotypical attitude can and will inevitably lead to violations of gender discrimination statutes.

Individuals frequently call for advice concerning the harassment and discrimination they experienced. They tell me they just couldn’t take it anymore and that going to work each day had become an anxiety-filled event, so they resigned from their employment. I assure them that they should not doubt the choice they made, because ultimately they did what they needed to stay happy and healthy. But often, under New Jersey law, that choice has limited, if not eliminated, their legal remedies.

I am learning more and more that my mother was right about a lot of things but particularly about timing.  A superb golfer in her day (she was a single digit handicap at her peak) she taught me that properly timing the start of the downswing was critical to both accuracy and distance.  And in love, she always told me that timing was critical when it came to marriage, i.e, whether my future wife and I would be "ready" when we first meet. She was absolutely right!

With the upcoming New Year, it is time for resolutions that we all hopefully will keep.  For employees, please adopt this resolution:  I will never email, text or post on my social media page content that I know could be offensive, violate someone's privacy or just be plain mean.   Failure to follow this simple rule just got a long time New Jersey municpal employee suspended without pay and possibly losing his job for distributing racist emails.

            “You can’t prove anything, detective.  All you have is circumstantial evidence!”  How often do we think of that movie cliché whenever we think about circumstantial evidence?  We think of it as inferior to eyewitness or other direct evidence.  The fact is that circumstantial evidence can be very powerful and is the primary way that discrimination cases are proven. 

This blog post is the inaugural of what our firm hopes will become a tradition of discussing workplace issues. This post will lead off with employment issues that we have observed over the past several years in the tech industry. 

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