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NJ Law Against Discrimination Can Apply to NJ Company’s Out-of-State Employee

In a recent landmark ruling, a federal court has allowed an out-of-state employee to pursue a discrimination claim under New Jersey law. The ruling is the first of its kind in the state and has the potential to impact thousands of employees who work remotely for New Jersey-based companies. Although the case concerned claims of equal pay violations, its implications extend to all forms of discrimination prohibited by New Jersey law.

The plaintiff in the case, Schulman v. Zoetis, Inc., was a veterinary pathologist who worked remotely for a global animal health company headquartered in New Jersey. Dr. Frances Schulman alleged that Zoetis, Inc. paid her less than male colleagues who performed the same job, even though she had more experience. When she raised the issue with HR, the company refused to address it. Schulman filed a lawsuit against Zoetis for violations of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, as well as New Jersey equal pay and antidiscrimination law. The case was filed in federal court, since Schulman resides in Pennsylvania. Zoetis argued that Dr. Schulman could not pursue her claims under New Jersey law because she worked remotely from her home in another state.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has not yet issued a controlling decision on whether the LAD applies to employees of a New Jersey company who work outside the state. As such, the federal court predicted how the state court would resolve the issue. The court found that New Jersey law has a closer connection to the facts of the case. Zoetis’s headquarters was located in New Jersey and that the company’s employment decisions were made in New Jersey. The court also found that Schulman’s work had a substantial impact on New Jersey, as she regularly communicated with Zoetis employees in New Jersey and provided services to New Jersey clients.

The court’s ruling is a significant victory for employees who live and work out-of-state for New Jersey-based companies. It means that these employees can now pursue discrimination claims under New Jersey law. This is particularly relevant in today’s evolving economy, where working remotely has become increasingly prevalent.

The Schulman ruling could apply to discrimination based on any protected category under the LAD, including gender, sexual orientation, age, race, ethnicity and disability. If you are an employee who works out of state for a New Jersey-based company and you believe that you have been mistreated in violation of state law, you should contact an employment discrimination attorney to discuss your rights.

At Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in Hackensack, New Jersey, we have wide experience in championing the rights of employees facing job discrimination. To schedule your confidential consultation, call 551-245-8894 or contact us online.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is the Senior Managing Partner at Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt P.C., a prominent plaintiff employment law firm in the tri-state area. Mr. Atkins believes employees’ rights should be aggressively pursued when they’ve been wrongfully dealt with by their employers. He brings this philosophy to his practice when considering each case and its…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigation such as discrimination, retaliation and whistle blowing matters. He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in a sexual…

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Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

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Carly Skarbnik Meredith

Carly Skarbnik Meredith, Esq. is a Partner at the firm. Carly has focused her career exclusively in the field of employment law. She has a plethora of experience representing both employees and employers with their employment issues, needs, and concerns. She believes representing both employees and employers has made her an extremely well-rounded client advocate.…


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