Firm News

Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey

Green Savits had a very productive and exciting 2018 to protect employee rights.

            Partner Jon Green and counsel Laura LoGiudice teamed up for two successful jury verdicts.  First, on May 2, a Newark, N.J. federal jury found that our client, a retired female police sergeant, was wrongfully denied promotion from Sergeant to Lieutenant by her employer, the City of Jersey City. The jury found that she was illegally retaliated against because she exercised her First Amendment and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination rights to object to sexual harassment on the job  The jury awarded her $276,000 in past wages and past and future pension benefits. Additionally, eight other police sergeants also were found to have been illegally denied promotion because of what happened to our client and they were awarded a collective total of $1.8 million dollars in lost wages and pension benefits. Currently pending is her and her co-plaintiff’s application for a tax gross up award for that verdict amount and an application for attorney’s fees. 

The second verdict came on October 5, where a Newark, N.J. state court jury found that our client was illegally fired because he objected to certain business practices that he reasonably believed violated New Jersey environmental regulations and New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.  The jury awarded our client $298,000 in back pay and $298,000 in punitive damages.  The case was settled quickly thereafter for an amount that cannot be disclosed but also included payment for attorney’s fees.

Jon and Laura also teamed up for a victory on behalf of employees in the New Jersey Supreme Court in January 2018 in the decision, Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 7 (Jan. 12, 2018). In this case, our firm represented as amicus curiae the New Jersey chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association. The New Jersey Supreme Court adopted in totality the argument made to the Court in our amicus brief.

Jon spoke at two different New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education seminars:  in June 2018, he spoke about the viability of bringing a lawsuit against a publicly traded employers based on their employment manual that promises there will be no retaliation against an employee who objects to an employer’s practice that the employee reasonably believes violates the law.  The second seminar in November 2018 discussed the merits of banning non-disclosure agreements pertaining to discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims in employment and settlement agreements.  In that vein, Jon also was on a New Jersey State Bar task force that proposed legislation to the New Jersey Legislature in June 2018 dealing with that very subject matter.

Finally, Jon was recruited by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) to become an arbitrator in employment law.  After taking the requisite exam and two-day seminar in Miami in November, he is now a AAA panel member in employment law.

Partner Glen Savits as co-counsel settled and secured final court approval for two class action lawsuits.  The first settled in August on behalf of restaurant servers and bartenders where the restaurant violated the tip-credit provisions of the FLSA.  The second settled in September on behalf of workers who claimed that their employer retroactively changed performance standards in order to deny them a bonus.  He also settled litigation involving discrimination against Spanish-speaking employees.

As Administrative Co-Chair of the Employee Rights and the ABA’s Responsibilities Committee, Glen helped organize the Committees Annual Midwinter Meeting held in Clearwater, Florida in March 2018.

Additionally, Glen presented talks at the NELA/NJ Annual Conference on the use of e-discovery in October 2018 and at an New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education Employment Law Round Table in December 2018 where he discussed the just enacted New Jersey Equal Pay Act which took effect as part of the New Jersey law Against Discrimination in July of 2018.  Glen also taught a class at the Middlesex County College on Employment Law for continuing education students.

In August, Glen was elected to serve a second stint as a member of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association.

Counsel Laura LoGiudice scored a major victory for a client where she convinced a New Jersey state court judge to enforce a settlement that the employer refused to honor even after extensive negotiations had taken place via phone calls and emails. She also defeated employer motions to dismiss incases involving claims of age, gender, disability and discrimination claims and a case involving whistleblower claims. She settled pre-lawsuit cases involving disability discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and failure to reasonably accommodate while she and Glen Savits settled litigation involving a claim of the employer’s failure to pay overtime.

Laura also spoke at New Jersey Institute for Continuing Education’s Employment Law Roundtable seminar on Ethics in Retainer Agreements about Ethics in Retainer Agreements and gave a presentation at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting on the Legal and Ethical Obligations to Keep in Mind When Engaging in a Dual Business, including a discussion concerning the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.  She also authored an article for the quarterly report of the New Jersey State Bar Associations Labor & Employment Law Section that described what an employees must do to preserve their rights if they are harassment victims, are seeking leave under the Federal Medical Leave Act and/or seeking reasonable accommodations in the workplace if they have physical disabilities.

Our firm is proud of our efforts to vindicate the rights of employees and we look forward to continuing doing so in 2019.

On October 5, 2018, a Newark, NJ state court jury found in favor of our client who was fired for being a whistle-blower. The jury awarded $299,044.41 in lost wages and the same amount in punitive damages making the total verdict just under $600,000.  Partner Jon Green and Counsel Laura LoGuidice tried the case on behalf of our client who prevailed under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act which protects employees who object to illegal conduct by their employer from retaliation. Because our client prevailed, our firm's attorney's fees and costs, as allowed by the statute, was more than $400,000 thus adding up to more than a $1million for the entire judgment.  The parties have since settled the case for an undisclosed amount.

If you believe you have been retaliated against by your employer because you reported or objected to your employer's business practices that you believed to be illegal, the attorneys at Green Savits may be able to help.  Call us at (973) 695-7777 or email us through our website.

On May 2, 2018, partner Jon Green as lead trial counsel together with Laura LoGiudice of our office, co-counsel Lisa Manshel and the firm of Breuninger and Fellman obtained a $2.1 million verdict Newark, NJ federal district court on the behalf of nine police sergeants. The suit was Montone v. City of Jersey City et al.  Our client, Valerie Montone alleged that she was retaliated against for supporting the losing mayoral candidate in a 2004 election and for objecting to sex harassment in the workplace which also included her filing a prior sex harassment lawsuit in 1993. Our client's award was for $276,000 for lost wages and pension loss while the other eight male police sergeants, represented by the Breuninger Fellman firm, received approximately $1,824,000 in lost wages and pension losses.

On October 12, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted Jon Green's and Laura LoGiudice's motion for amicus curiae status on behalf of the New Jersey chapter of the National Employee Lawyer's Association in Noren v. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc.  The case involves how attorney's fees are to be awarded where an employer wins at trial a breach of employment contract claim and a New Jersey state whistleblower claim.   The issues are technical and somewhat convoluted but are important in enforcing New Jersey's whistleblower statute which allows for attorney's fees to the employee's attorney who has successfully brought a whistleblower claim. A decision is expected in 2018.

On August 15, 2017, Jon Green was recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in the practice areas of Employment Law-Individuals and Litigation-Labor and Employment. This means that Mr. Green is ranked among the top 5% of private practice attorneys nationwide in these practice areas as determined solely by his peers.  Please see https://www.bestlawyers.com/methodology for the selection process.  If you believe that you are in need of advice or legal representation regarding your current or former employer, contact Mr. Green at (973) 695-7777 or email him through the website.

We are thrilled to announce that Laura M. LoGiudice has joined our firm as Of Counsel.  Laura has extensive litgation experience in a wide variety of matters with an emphasis on employment law.  That experience also includes litigating commericial disputes, health care regulatory compliance, federal anti-kickback statutes and health care privacy including but not limited to HIPAA.

Unfortunately, our associate Dylan Dindial has left the firm and has switched sides by joining the national firm Littler Mendelson in their Newark, N.J. office. She will be sorely missed but we wish her well.

 

In March 2017, Partners Jon Green and Glen Savits were again selected by their peers through a poll conducted by New Jersey Monthly as New Jersey Super Lawyers for 2016.  Jon Green has been selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for Plaintiff's Employment Litigation every year since 2006 while Glen Savits has likewise been selected every year since 2009 for Labor and Employment Law.

On April 7, 2017, Dylan Dindial was a speaker at the National Employment Lawyers' Association- New Jersey's 2017 Annual Conferece in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Ms. Dindial presented a summary of the significant employment law cases decided in 2016 and moderated a heated debate between attorneys for employees and employers about trends seen in these decisions and what they mean for the field of employment law.

On February 27, 2017, Glen Savits presented an employment law update to the Worrall F. Mountain American Inn of Court. Mr. Savits is a Master in this Inn of Court, which uses a structured trial advocacy program to train the Inn's pupils in civil litigation and advocacy.

In February 2017, Green Savits published the first of a series of responses to Frequently Asked Questions in its employment law blog: whether mandatory overtime is legal. Check the blog regularly for responses to other questions we are commonly asked as employment lawyers.

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