New Jersey Wrongful Termination Lawyers
Is There Such a Thing as Wrongful Termination Under New Jersey Law?
Many people think that if they are fired unfairly, without proper warning, or by an abusive, arrogant or mean-spirited boss, they have a legal claim for “wrongful termination” or “wrongful discharge.” Unfortunately, that is generally not true, and we’ve often had to explain to our clients, “What is unfair is not necessarily illegal.” There is no law in the State of New Jersey that prohibits employers from treating their employees badly.
To the contrary, New Jersey, like almost all states in the United States, is an “employment-at-will” state, which means that, with some very important exceptions discussed below, your employer can fire you for “good reason, bad reason, or no reason at all.” It can be very painful and difficult to explain to an employee who has given 10, 20, or even 30 years of his or her life to the service of a single employer that he or she can be fired at the mere whim of an abusive or unpleasant boss. That is the bad news. But, the good news is that, while it is not illegal to treat an employee “unfairly,” it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on account of his or her race, religion, disability, sex, etc. It is also illegal for an employer to subject an employee to a sexually or racially hostile work atmosphere; to retaliate against an employee who “blows the whistle;” to deny an employee’s rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act; to fail to pay an employee overtime pay; or to refuse to provide “reasonable accommodation” to a disabled employee.
So even though there may not be a specific legal claim for “wrongful termination” or “wrongful discharge,” there are still many legal claims that a New Jersey employee can bring to remedy an unlawful termination. In order to determine where you stand, you should consult with experienced and knowledgeable employment lawyers who can sit with you and determine whether your claim for “wrongful termination” is actually a claim that can be brought as a claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination or under the many other state and federal laws under which relief can be sought.
Lawyers Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch, between them, have been practicing employment law for more than 45 years. They are highly regarded by their peers, having been repeatedly selected as Super Lawyers in the field of employment litigation: plaintiff. They enjoy the challenge of tackling the most difficult legal issues, taking on the biggest corporations in New Jersey, and protecting the contractual rights of our clients.
If you believe you have an employment contract that has been broken, please contact our firm by completing the on-line Questionnaire.
* In every year since 2014, the law firm of Schall & Barasch has been included in the Tier 1 list of best law firms in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of individuals. This list is compiled by U.S. News & World Report. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawfirms.usnews.com/methodology.aspx.
** The methodology for the Avvo ratings of Richard Schall and Patricia Barasch can be found at www.avvo.com/support/avvo_rating.
*** In every year since 2009, Richard Schall has been chosen to be included on the list of Best Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of labor and employment law. The Best Lawyers list is issued by Best Lawyers International. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.bestlawyers.com/about/MethodologyBasic.aspx.
**** In every year since 2005, both Patricia Barasch and Richard Schall have been chosen to be included on the list of Super Lawyers in New Jersey practicing in the field of employment law on behalf of plaintiffs. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.
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