If your rights have been violated in the workplace, you may have grounds for an employment lawsuit. Plaintiffs in New Jersey employment law cases can reach equitable resolutions with employers through negotiation or recover compensation through litigation. Our skilled employment attorneys have the extensive knowledge and breadth of experience necessary to help you assert your right to work and earn income free from duress or undue interference. Having a team that can address the full gamut of employment law matters is vital when you’re seeking the best possible result.
New Jersey and federal law both prohibit an employer from discriminating against or harassing an employee based on a disability, religion, pregnancy or breastfeeding, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or national origin. These claims also include sexual harassment, which is a discrimination claim based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation. Two common types of employment discrimination lawsuits are hostile work environment claims and quid pro quo claims.
A hostile work environment claim arises when an employer makes a work environment uncomfortable or difficult due to intimidating, offensive, or oppressive behavior from a harasser and you can prove that the harassment would not have occurred but for your protected characteristic and it was severe enough to make a reasonable person believe that the work environment is hostile or abusive.
Quid pro quo literally means “something for something” and this type of discrimination often arises in the context of sexual harassment, in which a supervisor or someone in a position of authority solicits or even hints at an exchange of some employment benefit or the threat of adverse action, like termination or demotion, based on the acceptance or rejection of sexual advances.
There are certain situations in which your employer is prohibited from terminating you in retaliation for a lawful action you take against them, namely filing a workers’ compensation claim or whistleblower complaint.
A workers’ compensation claim arises when you are injured at work while performing your job duties. New Jersey law requires your employer to pay the medical bills you incur from your work-related injuries, as well as your lost wages from the accident. If your employer takes some kind of adverse employment action against you, including terminating you, due to your claim or attempt to file a claim, they are in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.
An employer can also unlawfully retaliate by taking adverse employment action against you for reporting unsafe or illegal work practices. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act protects whistleblower employees who make or attempt to make a complaint about their employer’s illegal conduct or non-compliance with laws and regulations. It also covers employees who notify state or local authorities, “tip off” news organizations, participate in investigations, or agree to testify against their employer in an ongoing case.
If you are retaliated against by your employer, you should consult an employment lawyer in New Jersey. Generally, you must file your claim with the appropriate court within 2 years after retaliatory action is taken against you based on a whistleblower complaint or workers’ compensation claim.
from your employer, either from unpaid overtime, unused vacation, or your employer’s failure to pay minimum wage, you can bring an unpaid wages claim to recover pay you are owed from your employer.
To file a claim for unpaid wages, you must submit a wage claim to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD). If your claim is based on overtime or minimum wage violations, you have 2 years from the time the wages were due to file your claim. All other wage claims must be filed within 6 years after the wages became due.
If you believe that your rights as an employee have been violated by your employer and you wish to bring a lawsuit against them, it is very important to seek the counsel of a knowledgeable New Jersey employment lawyer. To succeed in a claim against your employer, you must first determine if you have a valid cause of action. Depending on what type of claim you have against your employer, the process you must undergo to recover compensation may be different. You would be well-served by enlisting the help of an experienced employment litigation attorney who can walk you through the process of bringing a claim.