South Jersey Employment Lawyers
Areas of Practice
- ADA Violations and Disability Discrimination: Employers are required to guarantee equal opportunities for work and advancement to individuals with disabilities as they are to non-disabled employees. Employers who subject their employees to disability discrimination can face initial fines of $55,000 to $75,000, and subsequent violations yield a penalty of up to $150,000.
- Age Discrimination: This occurs when an employee is treated less favorably because of their age. Unlike federal law, which only protects workers aged 40-and-older and limits damages to back and forward-pay, in New Jersey age discrimination can occur at any age and a prevailing plaintiff may seek an award of compensatory and punitive damages.
- “At Will” Employment: In New Jersey, employment is considered “at will” and can be ended at any time by either party, so long as termination of the relationship does not conflict with the terms of an employment contract, nor is based on race, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or marital status.
- Employment Contracts: A working relationship can be better defined in New Jersey by the execution of an employment contract. Such agreements often spell out the length of the position, the expectations of employer and employee and the procedures for termination, including all restrictive covenants and severance pay.
- Employment Discrimination: Barred by several state statutes in New Jersey, including the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the New Jersey Civil Union Act and the New Jersey Equal Pay Act. Additionally, discrimination in employment or hiring practice is forbidden by various federal laws including the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Employer Representation: Employees are not the only parties in need of representation. Whether your company is in financial crisis and undergoing mass layoffs, or whether you simply want to keep up with rapidly changing laws and court decisions, seeking the advice of a qualified New Jersey employment lawyer proficient in employer representation is imperative.
- Executive Compensation & Benefits: Subject to tax, labor and securities laws, an executive compensation and benefits package must not only withstand the scrutiny of the federal and state governments but also meet the approval of shareholders.
- Family and Medical Leave: All employers with a workforce greater than 50 employees for at least 20 weeks in the current or previous year are bound by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees unpaid leave for various emergent needs such as the birth of a baby or to care for a sick loved one.
- Fraud and Misrepresentation: Occurs when an employer entices an employee to sign on to a new company under false pretenses, such as with the promise of a salary increase or opportunities for advancement that never existed. Employers found liable for fraud and/or misappropriation may be ordered to pay damages, write a letter of recommendation or pay the value of lost stock options which never vested in light of an employee’s early termination.
- Gender Discrimination: The mistreatment of an employee or job applicant based upon their sex, or based upon their association with an organization or group that is traditionally associated with people of a certain sex. In addition, a company-wide policy or practice which disproportionately and negatively affects people of a certain sex – and which is found to be unessential to the successful operation of the business – can also be deemed illegal.
- Harassment: Any behavior by any employee designed to intimidate, embarrass or frighten a coworker, including slurs, threats or derogatory jokes about a religion, gender, disability or age. An employer need not harass in order to be held liable for workplace harassment; to the contrary, federal anti-discrimination laws make it clear that employers can be held equally responsible for the harassing conduct of their workforce.
- National Origin Discrimination: Differential treatment of employees or job applicants based upon their country of birth, or the region of the world from which they originate. Notably, national origin discrimination can take place even when the victim and employer are the same nationality, or when an employee is discriminated against because of the nationality of his or her spouse.
- New Jersey Domestic Partnership Act: Grants same-sex domestic partners many of the same rights and responsibilities afforded to legally married spouses in the State of New Jersey, including certain public pension and health benefits.
- New Jersey Family Leave: A state statute which confers benefits that can be combined with the FMLA to extend, in certain circumstances, an employee’s leave – some of which may even be paid. Unlike the FMLA, however, New Jersey Family Leave cannot be used by an employee to recover or recuperate from his or her own disability or medical event.
- New Jersey Law Against Discrimination: Forbids employers from treating employees or job applicants differently based upon any of a number of possible criteria, including their ancestry, nationality, race, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, history (or absence) of military service, disability or perceived disability. The law applies equally to all businesses, regardless of size.
- Pregnancy Discrimination: A form of sex discrimination which occurs when an employee is forced to take an unpaid leave of absence, denied opportunities for advancement or otherwise mistreated because she is pregnant or because she intends to become pregnant in the near future. Employers who provide their workforce with temporary disability leave or leave without pay for other medical issues must extend the same offer to pregnant employees, and employers may not replace a pregnant employee on unpaid leave without holding her position open the same amount of time a position would be held for a non-pregnant employee on leave.
- Racial Discrimination: The act of mistreating an employee or job applicant unfairly based upon their race, or their skin color. As with national origin discrimination, the employer and employee or potential employee need not be different races in order for discrimination to have occurred.
- Religious Discrimination: Occurs when an employee or job applicant is denied work or opportunities for advancement based upon their religious beliefs, or based upon the religious beliefs of a spouse or acquaintance with whom they are closely associated with.
- Restrictive Covenant: A contractual provision in an employment contract which governs the use of all proprietary data after termination, voluntary or otherwise. Typically, a restrictive covenant takes the form of a non-compete agreement, whereby an employee promises not to work for a competing company for a specified term or agrees not to solicit his or her former customers in an effort to siphon business from his or her former employer.
- Retaliation and Whistleblowing: Various federal and state laws offer protection to employees who notify public officials of wrongdoing at their place of business, particularly where the safety and health of the public is at risk. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act goes even further, barring retaliation against employees who disclose or threaten to disclose wrongdoing, who provide information to or testify before any public body investigating said wrongdoing, or who object to or refuse to participate in any activity the employee believes is illegal, fraudulent or contrary to the public interest.
- School Law and Special Education: In New Jersey, the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) presides over labor disputes involving public employees, including teachers and their unions. Such disputes can include but are not limited to wrongful termination and failure to negotiate employment contracts in good faith.
- Severance Packages: A payment made by an employer to an outgoing employee who has been terminated. Although typically in the form of one lump sum representing an employee’s total years of service, a severance package – which can sometimes be negotiable – might also include the continuation of some health or retirement benefits.
- Sexual Harassment: Governed by federal statutes as well as the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, sexual harassment occurs whenever an employee is subject to verbal or physical conduct which is sexual in nature or when an employee is made to feel as though he or she must tolerate unwanted sexual advances in order to remain employed or to advance within a company.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination: The mistreatment under New Jersey law of an employee or job applicant based upon his or her sexual orientation, either real or perceived.
- Shareholder Oppression and Other Business Disputes: New Jersey’s Oppressed Minority Shareholder Statute affords protection to shareholders – regardless of their ownership percentage of stock– when they lack sufficient control over the direction of their corporation, and when that direction is being dictated by those shareholders who do remain in control. In the event of a dispute over ownership of a limited liability company (LLC), the Revised Uniform Limited Liability Corporation Act (RULLCA) allows a party to apply for a court order dissolving a company on grounds that those who remain in control have acted in a manner which was oppressive.
- Wage and Hour/Overtime Claims: Governed by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, laws covering wage and hour compliance dictate the state’s minimum wage standard, overtime wage rates, fringe benefits such as vacation and sick leave as well as procedures for unpaid or withheld wages in the event of breakage, spillage or cash register shortages.
- Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification Act (WARN): This federal statute requires employers to notify workers and their families of impending mass layoffs or facility closures as long as the company has more than 100 employees who have worked an average of 20 hours per week or more, for at least six months in the preceding year. Companies who violate WARN can be ordered to pay each employee back pay and benefits for up to 60 days, as well as civil penalties of $500 for each day the company failed to comply with the statute.
- Wrongful Termination: Although New Jersey is an “at will” employment state – whereby employment can be terminated at an employer’s discretion – exceptions do exist. Any employee who can demonstrate that they were fired for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons, or were fired in violation of a preexisting employment contract, may have grounds to sue.
Cherry Hill Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Focus Exclusively on Representing Employees and Employers
South Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates successfully represent clients in complex issues in employment law. Contact us today at 215-569-1999 or submit an inquiry online for all of your New Jersey employment litigation needs.
From our office in Pennsauken, we represent clients throughout South Jersey including the communities of Cherry Hill, Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cumberland County and Salem County. Also serving residents of Pennsylvania including but not limited to the communities of Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, Montgomery County and Northampton County.