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Lawmakers consider new employee protection measures

New Jersey lawmakers are considering new legislation that would place broad protections around employees, keeping them from unfairly waving their rights against discrimination in the workplace. Under the proposed bill, employment contracts would face legal challenges if they include language that undermines or waives discrimination rights.

While this proposed law does not affect all types of employment agreements, it would do away with language in a contract that seeks to weaken protections for those who face discrimination in the workplace. In certain types of contracts and employment agreements, employees often must waive certain rights simply to get in the door, and may face career consequences if they balk at signing away these rights to an employer.

Under the proposed bill, employees would retain their individual rights against discrimination and retaliation, although not all employment contracts would be subject to the protections. Collective bargaining agreements, for example would remain exempt, and individuals would still retain the right to waive certain rights on a proscriptive basis. However, contracts requiring an employee to give up certain rights simply to get the job would no longer be allowed in most cases.

Protecting your rights in the workplace is not an easy or simple task. If you believe an employment contract treats you unfairly or asks you to give up too many rights just to get in the door, don't hesitate to review the contract carefully and consider all the options you have to modify the agreement or propose more reasonable terms. An experienced attorney is a strong resource in these matters, ensuring that you have the tools and understanding to defend your rights in the workplace and stand up to unfair hiring and firing practices.

Source: Mondaq, "United States: New Jersey Legislature Considering Bill Prohibiting Waiver Of Employees' Rights Under Discrimination Laws," Melissa M. Ferrara, March 07, 2018

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