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New Jersey Employment Law Blog

Was I wrongfully terminated after my injury?

If you lost your job after filing a workers' compensation claim for an on-the-job injury, you may be justifiably angry. After all, your injury occurred on the job, and isn't it illegal to fire someone after filing a worker's compensation claim? Unfortunately, there is no automatic yes-or-no answer to this dilemma, and the circumstances of your injury have a great deal to do with how your employer may respond to your injury and recovery.

First things first — it is illegal to fire an employee in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim. Retaliatory firings are considered discrimination and are forbidden under anti-discrimination laws. if you believe that you were fired because you filed a workers' compensation claim, then you should not hesitate to consult with an experienced attorney to help protect your rights and pursue a just resolution immediately.

Recognizing signs of age discrimination in the workplace

As employees, we all want to be recognized for our skills, experience, and achievements. When an employer treats an employee unfairly because of his or her age, the whole workplace suffers.

How can you recognize signs of age discrimination at work? It is not always easy to recognize, as the signs may be subtle. It may involve one employee or a group of employees. It may initiate from a coworker or from management. Here are some common examples:

Flight attendants claim social media harrassment, sue airline

Social media often blurs the line between personal and professional lives, creating new and surprising opportunities for discrimination. A Philadelphia woman and her colleague are now suing their employer because of sexual discrimination by coworkers that they claim occurred on social media.

The two women are flight attendants serving with American Airlines, and claim that the company is liable for sexual discrimination because of comments made by other employees on social media. According to the plaintiffs, the company has a policy restricting employees from insulting or discriminating against fellow employees on social media, a policy the company apparently failed to enforce. The company has addressed the allegations, claiming that they are groundless. It remains to be seen how the courts will rule in the matter, and what the case may mean for similar complaints in many industries.

Identifying discrimination is not always simple

Determining whether or not you faced a discriminatory firing is not always simple. Many people feel hurt and discriminated against, and being let go can always be an emotional experience. To further clarify whether or not your firing was discriminatory, it is helpful to ask yourself a number of questions about the situation.

During your time at your job, did you observe any behavior that would cause you to believe the firing was discriminatory? Were you given any reasons for the firing, either in writing or verbally, that might indicate discrimination? When you consider the circumstances under which you were let go, do any other factors seem to indicate discrimination? Often, in cases of discrimination, you may not be the only one who suffered a similar experience, so it may be helpful to consider any other former or current employees who may have also suffered in the same way.

Was your employment contract violated when you were terminated?

When a person believes that he or she has been wrongfully terminated, that often means the employee believes he or she has faced some form of discrimination or that the employer illegally retaliated against the employee for reporting a safety or procedural violation. However, some forms of wrongful termination are more technical and possibly less about an interpersonal conflict. If you have an employment contract, then there may be specific provisions in the contract that dictate how you may be terminated, and what that termination would trigger as a result. If you were terminated in a way that violated your contract, this can also be a form of wrongful termination that is legally actionable.

Terminations that include contract violations come in two general forms — either a written contract or a verbal contract. New Jersey does consider a verbal contract legally binding, but it may be very difficult to prove and therefore enforce a verbal contract. As a general rule, it is always best to get any kind of employment agreement in writing.

Cyberbullying is a new frontier of cruelty and abuse

Bullying is an age-old problem. Anytime you gather a group of young people together, there is bound to be some level of abuse. Children are not known for demonstrating an overabundance of empathy, though it's not clear that adults do much better. But the bullying of the past may be a mere shade of what kids face today. Social media and the Internet have given rise to countless new opportunities for people to spew hatred without having to do anything more than pick up their phones. Cyberbullying laws are still developing, and many victims are unsure what, if any, protection is available to them.

The tools of cyberbullying

Part of the problem is that the methods by which young people bully one another are constantly evolving. Parents may know Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, but teens have other options and are motivated to stay a step ahead of their elders. Still, plenty of bullying is spread through tweets, posts and snaps. These platforms allow bullies 24/7 access to their victims, and allow them to get their abuse in front of a wider audience. 

New Jersey Employment and Civil Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses the Recent Attacks on the Press by President Trump's Administration

Or: "Freedom of the Press? Under President Trump's Administration, Maybe Not 

The Fourth Estate - a free and open press - is critical to a free society.

Trump doesn't like that. Neither do his deplorables (and that's a kind word. I use others less kind with each passing week if this embarrassing monstrosity of a white house, to describe the hateful, stupid, fearful or cynical people that made this all possible), who use incredible phrases like "fake news" to ignore anything that doesn't jive with the poisonous cool-aid they drink.

So the Monster-in-chief threw out legitimate news outlets, and told pretend news outlets like Fox they could stay.

No president in the modern era has ever taken such a step.

Know who has? Hitler. Mussolini. Stalin. Castro. Mao. Jong-Il.

He's in good company. Lincoln, Eisenhower and Reagan would roll over in their graves. Bush I and II are embarrassed for us all. 

Do I still have rights as an emplyee?

As an employee, it is sometimes easy to forget that you have certain rights under the law. It seems like every other day another news story rolls out about businesses stripping away another layer of our rights, or of new federal de-regulation giving employers more power than ever.

While this may or not be true, there are certain broad rights that every employee currently enjoys. If you have a concern about your rights being violated in the workplace, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand the nuances of your experience in the context of the constantly-changing legal landscape of business regulations.

New Jersey Education Rights Trial Lawyer Discusses Immigrant Students and the Right to Free and Appropriate Public School Education

Or... "Our Society Depends on Educating Everyone."

In 1982, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) held that a state law allowing school districts to deny enrollment to school-age undocumented immigrants violated the Federal Constitution's Equal Protection Clause. William Brennan, writing for a majority of the court, explained that the fourteenth amendment's guarantee of equal protection was designed to ensure "the abolition of governmental barriers presenting unreasonable obstacles to advancement on the basis of individual merit."

Nothing in that quote, and nothing in that case, has anything to do with citizenship; or at least, it shouldn't. Before we get into what Jersey requires, I want to make sure that we're both on the same page. 

Hotel faces wage discrimination suit

One would like to think that in 2017, women working entry-level service positions could at least expect to be paid as much as their male counterparts. After all, entry-level by definition require very little experience and generally offer pay that is only slightly better than minimum wage. Unfortunately, a civil suit filed against a New Jersey hotel demonstrates that workplace discrimination is alive and well even in some of the most positions.

According to the suit, men and women who were hired by the hotel as housekeeping staff were paid differently based solely on their gender — $8 per hour for women and $9 to $10 per hour for men. Not only was this discrimination practiced by the hotel, when a female employee had the decency to question the disparity, she was fired.