Facebook and social media sites like it has changed our world in many different ways. On the positive side, we can communicate and keep up with more people that we have met and befriended in our lives no matter where they live, reach out to people from our past that was not possible before and otherwise become and stay more connected in this increasingly complex world that we live in. But there is a downside to this ability to connect and these negatives can be devastating for employees. We have observed more and more instances where employees have said things about their employers, their bosses and/or co-workers that not only could...Read More
Green Savits Employment Law Blog
Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey
Every employee sees and hears things around the workplace. It’s hard not to. Sometimes employees see, hear, or are asked to be involved in something they don’t feel comfortable doing because they believe it is wrong or illegal. Understandably, many of these employees are afraid of the potential repercussions of reporting or protesting what they’ve seen, heard, or been asked to do. But before you decide to follow the three monkeys and “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” it is important to know how and when you are protected for speaking out against wrongful conduct in the workplace.
Under New Jersey law, someone who reports...Read More
Last month, I wrote about the IT industry's problem with its treatment of female and/or older employees. The obstacles that these employees face have been documented in the media and through our own firm's cases. But, do these anecdotal episodes mean that IT employers are engaging in illegal discrimination? The answer is not a clear cut one but depends on the circumstances.
While IT work environments may not be as congenial or friendly to female and/or older employees, that does not necessarily prove illegal discrimination. But as my colleague Glen Savits alluded to in an earlier post, it may be relevant circumstantial evidence...Read More
Many potential clients come into our office to pursue their claims of discrimination with stacks of documents to show us that they think support their claims. Some of the documents are merely their own performance evaluations or company policies that they were given to them at the start of their employment. However, sometimes clients bring us copies of emails, company financial information, or other employees’ performance evaluations that they helped themselves too when they still had access to their employers’ documents. This always begs the question, “was their self-help legal?”
Self-help copying of documents is always a risk....Read More
As a brief follow up to my October 16 blog posting, New York City also passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, requiring NYC employers (with at least 4 employees) to grant reasonable accommodations to their pregnant employees. See N.Y.C. Admin. Code 8-107(22). Not only are employers required to grant reasonable accommodations that would not be an undue hardship or prevent an employee from satisfying the "essential requisites" of their job, but they also must notify their employees of these new rights, in writing, by May 30, 2014.
“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.
If, when you go to bed, there is no snow on the ground, but when you wake up there is a foot of snow outside, you can conclude that it snowed overnight. That is circumstantial evidence. Now suppose I told you I was up all night looking out the...Read More
I’ve never been pregnant, so I don’t know what it’s like. But in writing this blog, I called my cousin who is pregnant with her first child, due in just 2 months, and still working hard. I asked her, “What is it like to work while pregnant?” What followed was a laundry list of very reasonable complaints: she hates wearing business attire, she becomes famished or queasy without warning, and she has to use the bathroom a ton. “The baby doesn’t care if you are in a meeting,” she told me. This sounds pretty awful and, up until this year, employers didn’t have to make life any easier for their pregnant employees.
However, on January...Read More
Sometimes bosses suck. It is one of life’s unfortunate truths. Some bosses yell at or criticize employees constantly; some blame employees for their own mistakes; some hover over their employees’ every move; some set unreasonable demands. They make you hate going to work and make every day unbearable. But do you have case against them for hostile environment harassment?
The answer is (as with most lawyerly answers) it depends.
Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, employees have the right to be free from harassment based on their membership in a protected class. This means, for example, that you are protected from...Read More
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.
Particularly with regard to sales, tech workplaces are usually populated by younger males in their 20's, 30's and 40's who operate in a fraternity like setting, as though their college days have never ended. This makes life very uncomfortable for males who hit their late 40's and 50's and women who choose this line of work. In fact, the New York Times highlighted how women in tech workforces are forced...Read More
On February 24 and 25, 2009, after a month-long trial, a jury sitting in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Essex County in Newark unanimously found that New Jersey Transit Police Lieutenant Theresa Frizalone was denied four separate promotions to Captain in retaliation for her complaints of gender discrimination. The jury awarded $339,000 in compensatory damages for lost pension and retiree medical benefits, $210,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress, and $1,000,000 in punitive damages against New Jersey Transit, for a total of $1,549,000 in damages. With a post-trial award of attorneys’ fees and prejudgment interest, the...Read More