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Author Archives: Bruce Atkins

SAFE Act: Employee Rights for Domestic Violence Victims

The legal and personal issues that go along with being a victim of domestic violence can be overwhelming. As a result, many victims find that their work lives suffer while they are recovering from the trauma of domestic violence. To address this issue, New Jersey lawmakers passed the Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act to… Read More »

New Jersey Passes Significant Minimum Wage Increase

Recent protests by fast-food workers throughout the nation have led to a renewed discussion of the minimum wage and what constitutes an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. While the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour, individual states are free to impose higher minimum wage requirements. New Jersey is among the states… Read More »

Free Exercise and Employee Health Care Under the ACA

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been in the news for a number of reasons lately, one story that largely fell by the wayside involved a Pennsylvania cabinet company that took issue with the ACA’s requirement that health plans provide coverage for certain types of oral contraceptives. A federal appellate decision in the case… Read More »

The Role of the Administrative Process in Employment Litigation

Many people come to us eager for their day in court against an employer who treated them unjustly or refused to address on-the-job harassment. They are surprised, however, when we tell them that they first must file an administrative complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination make… Read More »

What Is ENDA, and Where Is It Now?

Federal law shields a wide array of groups from employment discrimination, but members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have received no such protection. In the flurry of news that has been coming out of Congress over the past several months, a landmark piece of legislation has attracted little attention until recently…. Read More »

Noncompete Agreements Can Be Challenged in New Jersey

It’s understandable that companies want to keep trade secrets out of the hands of their competitors, which is why many employers require employees to sign noncompete contracts. Employers fear that when an engineer, salesperson, executive or marketer leaves the company to work for a competitor, the new employer will benefit from the new employee’s knowledge… Read More »

Job Terminations in New Jersey Are Sometimes Unlawful

Employment in New Jersey is “at will,” which means that employees work at the will of the employer, and the employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason — or for no reason. This is a pro-business policy that has been in place since the 19th century in most states. There are… Read More »

Negotiate a Better Severance Package with Proactive Thinking

Severance packages for terminated employees recently have become a topic of debate in the New Jersey Legislature. Two bills are pending that would penalize higher-paid workers who receive severance packages by denying them state unemployment benefits. Neither bill has passed either chamber of the legislature. Regardless of what happens in Trenton, employees (and ex-employees) should… Read More »

Even Judges Can Be Wrongfully Terminated

That is what former Linden Municipal Court judge Louis DiLeo alleges. Filing a wrongful termination lawsuit in the Union County Superior Court on July 10, 2013, DiLeo claimed several charges against the City of Linden and its mayor, Richard Gerbounka, including: Discrimination Retaliation Civil rights violations Wrongful termination As reported by the Star Ledger, according… Read More »

You Can Lose Your Case if You Don’t Follow the Rules

When a plaintiff files a lawsuit, the plaintiff often focuses on the facts of the case and the law that pertains to those facts. The plaintiff should prevail when the law supports the plaintiff’s allegations, and the plaintiff should lose when the law supports the defendant’s allegations. But there is another way that a plaintiff… Read More »