Police officers and a former police chief in a New Jersey town are suing for wrongful termination. Their suit contends that when the borough of Newfield disbanded their police unit and negotiated a new police agreement with Franklin Township, they violated their employment rights, leaving the four former employees without jobs.
The four individuals were employees of the former police department of Newfield borough. The borough voted to end their own police department and made an agreement with Franklin Township for police services in 2017. The suit states that Newfield officers, under the agreement, were to be given hiring preference for Franklin policing positions in the first three months. Franklin Township, however, did not hire any officers during this period. Franklin Township also did not hire any of the Newfield officers during the following year, but did hire a total of 10 other officers.
Shared Services Act
The suit argues that the employees’ termination was the result of a negotiation under the Interlocal Services Act. The plaintiffs state that the law was repealed and should not have been applied as it was replaced with the Shared Services Act, which protected their employment and would require the new police department to hire the former employees. They argue that the provisions of the new act were required to have their seniority, tenure, and pension rights protected. The suit also alleges that the arrangement, touted as a cost-saving measure for Newfield, was driven by ill-will. They are suing for the return of the Newfield Police Department officers to their former positions and compensation for financial losses while unemployed, or in lieu that they be hired by Franklin Township.
In a previous New Jersey case involving a police department consolidation, a judge ruled in favor of the terminated officers. Wrongful termination is a complex area of employment law that involves a variety of aspects under which even an at-will employer may not fire employees. At-will employment allows an employer the legal right to fire someone for no reason at any time. A key qualification of at-will employment is that the termination must not violate any other areas of the law.
Prohibited wrongful discharge can include termination based on:
- Discrimination based on any of the protected classes
- Violation of an existing employment contract
- Employer retaliation for whistleblowing activities reporting wrongdoing
- Employer violates their own disciplinary policies
- Employee’s refusal to engage in illegal acts
- Protected time off for jury duty, military, or family leave
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Workers’ Rights
Any termination from employment has emotionally draining effects on financial stability and well-being. If you believe your termination was wrongful and you were illegally fired, contact a Cherry Hill employment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today. Please complete our online form or call us at 215-569-1999. Located in Pennsauken, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout New Jersey.