Employment laws in New Jersey are in place to protect employees from discrimination or maltreatment in the workplace. Expert lawyers such as Tayeb Hyderally work to inform both employers and employees of their rights and responsibilities. When these responsibilities are not carried out and rights are violated Ty Hyderally successfully litigate the case. Many people are not familiar with how NJ employment law cases proceed.
Ty Hyderally will first meet with clients to discuss the allegations that are being made. At this meeting it is important to bring any documentation that is relevant to the case. This will help the firm assess what rights may have been violated. There will then be an investigation into the allegations. Documentation will be checked and any witnesses will be interviewed. In New Jersey a client does not have to file a claim with the EEOC or DCR prior to filing a lawsuit.
After the investigation is completed there is usually a demand letter sent to the company or defendant. This letter outlines the allegations that have been made against them. In many cases, the company will respond to the demand letter and instigate communication with the law offices. It is entirely possible to reach a settlement before ever having to go ahead and file suit with the courts. This is a favorable outcome as it can save money and time.
If there is no settlement offered or settled upon a complaint will be filed with the court. A claim can be filed with either the New Jersey Superior Court or the Federal Court, depending on the type of allegations that are being made. The court will assign a judge to the case and the complaint will then be served to the defendant. It usually takes a couple of weeks before the court gets the docket number sent back to the law office. As soon as the docket number is filed and received, the complaint will be officially served.
Once the defendant is served with a complaint they have 35 days to answer the matter. Their answer will contain admission, denial or missing information to each specific section of the complaint. Sometimes the defendant will file a motion to dismiss. This simply means that they do not believe the client has enough proof to back up the allegations and they are asking the court for a ruling on their behalf. The case can then be moved from the New Jersey Superior Court to the Federal Court; or the judge can deny the defendant’s motion. If the motion is denied it simply means the court is requiring them to answer the complaint.
The courts then require mediation. This simply means that a mediator will help to resolve the matter between the two parties outside the court room. Most of the time cases are settled somewhere along the way long before going to trial. But if not, the parties must both file pre-trial orders. The case will then go before a jury trial. The jury will render the decision. If for some reason either party feels that the jury was not reasonable in its findings they can request a change of ruling of the judge. The judge can then reduce the award, order a new trial or even completely change the verdict.
Ty Hyderally is a legal expert in employment law and his firm has had many successful years of litigation concerning contract law and employment law in New Jersey. The terms of at-will employment presume that the employment is indefinite; meaning that employees may quit at anytime for any reason. It also presumes that the employers may layoff or otherwise relieve the employee of duty at anytime with or without reason. Basically, either of the parties may break the employment relationship at anytime without being liable. However, in many instances it is preferable to obtain an employment contract.
An employment contract is binding by law. Employees mainly in executive level positions usually seek to establish job security and stability. Employees may also design employment contracts to help protect confidential business information, patents or trade secrets. In such crucial situations it is best to detail the mutual obligations of both parties involved in the employment relationship. A meaningful employment contract will carefully consider all the various contingencies that could possibly arise during the time involved in the employer-employee relationship.
An employment contract will take the place of the arrangements that are understood by an at-will employment. It becomes a legal document in which the relationship between the employer and employee is written out in great detail. It will include particulars about compensation, stock options, bonuses and severance packages. It will also detail any fringe benefits that are intact during the period of employment as well as retirement.
The employee will usually be asked to sign paperwork that goes along with the employment contract. This will include items such as being forbidden from sharing internal information about the business even after the contract comes to an end. This post employment confidentiality includes refraining from coming back to remaining employees after the contract is terminated and soliciting other employees.
These types of forms are typically signed at the time the contract is drawn up at the time of employment. This usually includes details concerning the terms of the contract and its termination if applicable. The position can only be withdrawn as lined out in the contract. And in many instances it also prohibits the employee from working for a competitive company for at least a certain amount of time. (Usually three years)Even though some of these terms are applicable after the initial contract is terminated, they are still considered part of the conditions of the employment and are legally binding.
It is the responsibility of both employees and employers to become familiar with New Jersey employment laws pertaining to sexual discrimination in the workplace. For those who feel they may have been discriminated against in the workplace based on their gender or sexual orientation, a lawyer should be consulted. New Jersey employment law expert, Tayeb Hyderally offers his expertise to both employees and employers.
What constitutes sexual discrimination law in New Jersey is laid out in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. According to the law, it is illegal for employees to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender. Decisions such as hiring or firing and any work related benefits cannot be based on the gender of an employee. New Jersey sex discrimination laws also make it illegal for any type of sexual harassment that creates a hostile environment in the workplace. This law is intact to protect both genders from an unfair work environment.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) defines an employer as anyone hiring an employ including public agencies and it also includes the State of New Jersey. The main difference in this law and federal Title VII guidelines is that it includes any employer, not just those who have at least fifteen employees. The only exclusion in the New Jersey law is for domestic services.
If one feels that they have been discriminated against based on their gender they must file a complaint against the employer within 180 days. This complaint is to be filed with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights. They will then contact the employer and allow them a chance to respond to the allegations. If there is no agreement reached early on then and investigator will decide if there is reasonable cause to believe that an individual’s rights were violated. In cases where the investigator finds evidence to raise reasonable cause the employee and employer will enter into a settlement phase. If it is not successful the case will go on to the hearing stage.
There are two options for those individuals who feel their rights have been violated; either file the complaint with the Division, or file it with the state courts. However, it cannot be filed both places. Lawyers who specialize in New Jersey employment law, such as Tayeb Hyderally, can help an individual be aware of their available options. They can discuss both options and help decide which option is best for the particular situation.
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq., is intended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of several protected categories, including age. However, the LAD contains an exception which permits employers to discriminate against individuals over 70. The “over 70 exception” to the LAD provides that, “nothing herein contained shall be construed to bar an employer from refusing to accept for employment or to promote any person over 70 years of age….” N.J.S.A. 10:5-12(a).
But should this exception permit employers to refuse to renew the contracts of employees based upon their being over 70? Not according to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent holding in Nini v. Mercer County Community College, 202 N.J. 98 (2010).
Rose Nini worked for Mercer Community College continuously for twenty-six years under a series of contracts. Her last contract was not renewed and she sued the school for age discrimination. The school countered that since Nini was over 70 she was not covered by the LAD because of its “over 70 exception.” Nini lost in the lower courts, but prevailed in the New Jersey Supreme Court. The Nini majority found that the “over 70 exception” applies to initial hiring decisions, but not to contract renewals. The Nini Court reasoned that a contract renewal amounts to the same thing as a termination, and termination based upon age is prohibited by the LAD’s broad remedial purpose and strong public policy of eradicating discrimination in the workplace. The Supreme Court also observed that it would create a loophole in the LAD’s protections by permitting employers who want to terminate their aging employees to simply put them under contract and then not renew the contract. The Nini Court further noted that it would also have the absurd result of giving greater protections to “at will” employees (i.e., those without contracts) than to contract employees.
One caveat to the Supreme Court’s holding might be the extent of the employee’s pre- existing relationship with the employer. Nini had a long-term and successful pre-existing relationship with the college, which was a significant factor in the Supreme Court’s finding in her favor. What about the over-70 employee whose relationship is only a year or less? The Nini Court failed to address whether or not the pre-existing relationship must be of any specific length or scope. Thus, chances are that employers will try to distinguish cases in which the employee has a short pre-existing relationship from the type of lengthy career that Nini had at the college. Thus, it remains to be seen whether this will be a hard and fast rule, or may be modified down the road.
New Jersey and New York are both “employment-at-will” states. Without a contract restricting termination (such as a collective bargaining agreement), an employer has the right to discharge an employee at any time for any reason. An employer may fire an employee for “no reason” – or even for a reason that might seem arbitrary and unfair — and the employee is equally free to quit at any time without being required to explain or defend that decision.
Exceptions to At Will Employment
There are a few exceptions to “employment-at-will” in New Jersey and New York. The most significant of these are laws which prohibit discrimination based upon race, creed, national origin, age, handicap, gender, sexual orientation or marital status. For physicians in New York, Public Health Law ‘ 2801-b provides protection of hospital privileges.
“It shall be an improper practice for the governing body of a hospital to . . . deny or withhold from a physician . . . staff membership or professional privileges in a hospital, or to exclude or expel a physician . . . from staff membership in a hospital or curtail, terminate or diminish in any way a physician’s . . . professional privileges in a hospital, without stating the reasons there for, or if the reasons stated are unrelated to standards of patient care, patient welfare, the objectives of the institution or the character or competency of the applicant.”
Employment is presumed to be at will. Though the employment relationship is still considered to be contractual, the “at will” relationship may be terminated at any time by either party. Parties may restrict the right to terminate either by providing that the employment is for a “definite term” or by limiting the circumstances under which the employer may terminate the employee (e.g., for “cause”).
To see some examples of employment law at work please take a look at Employment law questions