Wrongful Termination Lawyers for New Jersey Employees
Employment law is continually growing and evolving in an effort to keep pace with our changing society. However, despite all of our progress in the areas of civil rights, discrimination, and sexual harassment, problems and violations of the law still occur too frequently in today's workplace environments.
Real Help, Real Results…Call our New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys at (908) 561-5577 Today
At Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero, Pastor & Schiffman, our employment law work has become one of the busiest areas of our practice and one that is constantly presenting us with new challenges and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our clients. We have considerable experience across the full spectrum of employment law issues and our attorneys keep their skills sharp by remaining active members of the National Employment Lawyers Association.
Our New Jersey employment law attorneys have successfully represented numerous clients who have been discriminated against and/or harassed in their workplaces based on:
- National origin
- Religious affiliation
- Marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Height and/or weight
Our employment lawyers have successfully sued the largest Fortune 500 companies, as well as state, city, and county governments, in Somerset County, Union County, Middlesex County, Hunterdon County, Essex County, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey. We have also taken on smaller businesses and organizations that have allowed the laws to be broken. If you have been discriminated against or harassed, contact us for a free case evaluation.
Discrimination and harassment are different legal concepts. Discrimination is the denial of employment, termination and / or alteration of the terms and conditions of employment (like wages, hours, bonuses, job assignments) based on a protected classification such as race, age, sex, national origin, religious affiliation, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et. seq. is one of the most aggressive anti-discrimination statutes in the country. The New Jersey Legislature enacted this statute for the specific purpose of "eradicating the cancer of discrimination in the workplace."
Workplace discrimination can be direct or indirect, meaning it can be targeted at a single individual or a group of individuals. It is often shown by conduct and statements but can sometimes be demonstrated by statistics when a policy affects one class of people differently than others. Only employers / companies can be sued for discrimination, even if a supervisor or manager was the one that carried out the discrimination.
Harassment can take many forms. Harassment is unwanted conduct of an unlawful nature. The law allows someone who is harassed to sue the harasser as well as the company/employer. When a supervisor, manager, or employer demands sex in return for a raise, continued employment, or promotion this is called quid pro quo sexual harassment.
Other forms of harassment include unwanted touching, jokes, exposure to images, statements, and/or other behavior directed at an employee because of their sex, race, disability, age, gender orientation, or some other protected status. If the conduct rises to a level where it is considered severe and pervasive (meaning it is either so severe or so common) that it affects the ability of someone to do their job, this is called a hostile environment. Cases of this type often involve joking, pin-up photographs of naked men or women, Internet pornography, racial slurs, etc.
Wrongful Termination Attorneys
In New Jersey, if you are terminated for an unlawful reason, you may be entitled to recover damages. Our employment lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients who have been unlawfully terminated or retaliated against. We fight hard for those who have been fired because of:
- Race, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or some other protected classification
- Opposition to activity or conduct that is unlawful or against public policy, commonly known as "whistleblowing"
- Demanding overtime, rest breaks, or lunch breaks
- Requesting an accommodation
- Taking pregnancy leave
- Taking family and/or medical leave
- Refusal to enter an unsafe workplace
- Political affiliation
- Marital or family status
- Refusing to sign an unlawful non-compete clause
- Serving jury duty
New Jersey Wrongful Termination Law
In New Jersey, most employment relationships are at will. At will employment means that the employer and/or the employee may terminate the employment relationship for any reason, with or without cause. The exception is when there is some unlawful motivation or retaliatory reason for the termination. If there is an employment contract that has a specified term (number of years, etc.) or certain conditions that are to be met, and that contract is breached (i.e. it the person is fired before the specified term, or the conditions are not met), this too may give rise to a claim of wrongful termination.
Another form of wrongful termination is called a constructive wrongful termination. This is when the employee is not fired but quits because the conditions are so horrible and / or they have been effectively forced out or left no option. The law states that if conditions or treatment are so severe that a reasonable person could not consider continuing to work in the environment any further, then a person may quit and seek damages for their lost wages.
However, case law recognizes that employees can't merely quit and sue after a simple incident of harassment or because some condition is less than perfect. Employees are expected to use any available reporting mechanism to attempt to resolve their employment issues before quitting. Failure to try and remedy the situation before quitting may prevent an employee from going forward with their lawsuit. If an employee has complained and/or requested relief, and nothing changes, or it gets worse, an employee may quit and seek compensation for their lost wages. All complaints and efforts to get relief from the conduct should be well documented.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et. seq. (LAD) is one of the most aggressive anti-discrimination laws in the United Sates. It is designed to "eradicate the cancer of discrimination" in employment in New Jersey. In addition to allowing recovery for past and future lost wages, the LAD also provides recovery for mental and emotional distress, punitive damages and provides recovery of attorneys' fees from the employer. Contact our employment law attorneys for more information.
Significant employee lawsuit settlements that Aiello Harris has won include:
- $285,000 Sexual Harassment Claim
- $295,000 Whistleblower Claim
- $240,000 Age Discrimination Claim
- $123,000 Racial Discrimination Claim
- $121,000 Gender Discrimination Claim
- $100,000 Handicap Discrimination Claim
Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The firm provides mediation and other alternative dispute resolution services to employees with matters either in litigation or in anticipation of litigation.
24 Hours a Day • 7 Days a Week
Office and Off-Site Appointments
Springfield Employment Discrimination Law Firm
For a free initial consultation, call Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero, Pastor & Schiffman, P.C. at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online at any of our North and Central New Jersey law offices.