Common Employment Disputes in New Jersey

Jeff Varcadipane

June 22, 2022

Common Employment Disputes in New Jersey

The New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance is responsible for enforcing state labor laws relating to minimum wages, earned sick leave, methods of wage payment, and workplace labor standards. If you are engaged in any kind of employment dispute in your workplace in New Jersey, you will want to quickly contact an experienced New Jersey business disputes lawyer.

State laws relating to business practices are found in both the New Jersey Statutes Annotated and the New Jersey Administrative Code. Here are four of the more common kinds of employment disputes that tend to arise in New Jersey.

Most Common Employment Disputes: Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination is a phrase that applies to an illegal firing. The terminations many people believe are wrongful do not end up being illegal because, in New Jersey, all employees without employment contracts are considered to be at-will employees. At-will means that an employer can fire an employee at any time for any reason or even no reason at all. Terminations can be illegal, however, when they involve discrimination or retaliation.

An employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of any protected class characteristics. Characteristics such as race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. An employer also cannot retaliate against an employee because they blew the proverbial whistle by reporting what they believe was illegal activity by the employer or a co-worker. An employer cannot retaliate against an employee for engaging in other types of protected activities such as trying to obtain workers’ compensation benefits or requesting time off for family leave. Retaliation against whistleblowers is also prohibited.

Wage, Hour, and Overtime Disputes

Common kinds of issues under this category include an employer’s failure to pay minimum wage or overtime, misclassification of employees, requiring employees to work off the clock, improper withholding from employees’ paychecks, and more. The New Jersey Wage Payment Law requires that most employees receive the full amount of their wages due at least twice a month on regularly scheduled paydays, although executives, supervisors, and some other employees could receive payment once a month.

Discrimination and Harassment Claims

New Jersey Statute § 10:5-12 provides that is unlawful discrimination for an employer to treat an employee unfairly because of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or breastfeeding, sex, gender identity or expression, disability or atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait of any individual, or military status.

Severance Negotiations and Disputes

Neither federal law nor state severance laws require employers to pay severance upon the termination of employment, but some companies have severance pay policies, and the companies must follow those policies. Most employers only provide severance pay when they lay off employees because of job reorganization, restructuring, or downsizing. Some employers may pay severance to a recently terminated employee in recognition of their past service. Employers will typically require an employee to sign a separation agreement and general release that explains their right to severance pay and can also include restrictive covenants such as non-compete agreements limiting the employee’s job opportunities after termination.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Common Employment Disputes Lawyer

If you are currently in the midst of any kind of employment law dispute with your employer, make sure you have legal representation for assistance in achieving the most favorable outcome for your case. Varcadipane & Pinnisi, PC handles cases in both New Jersey and New York.

Our firm handles employment disputes as well as partnership disputes, shareholder disagreements, breach of contract claims, and insurance claim disputes. Please contact us online for a free consultation so we can review your case.

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