Bergen County

New Jersey Wrongful Termination Lawyer

Is New Jersey an At-Will Employment State?

Like most states, New Jersey is what is known as an “at-will employment” state. Unfortunately for employees, it is generally lawful for employers in at-will employment states, including New Jersey, to terminate employees at any time and for any reason, with or without providing advance notice. Even if the reason for your termination seems frivolous, arbitrary, or unfair, it is unlikely that your employer violated state or federal employment laws. Consider the following statement by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development:

“Notice is not required by either party based on the fact that New Jersey is an ‘employment at will’ state, meaning that an employer or employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without a reason, without cause.”

There are, however, important exceptions to this rule. Though an employee in New Jersey may generally be fired at the will of his or her employer, it is still unlawful for an employer to terminate an employee on the sole basis of:

  • An employee’s membership in a “protected class.”
  • An employee’s engagement in “protected conduct.”

Do You Have a Case for Wrongful Termination by Your Employer?

If you were terminated due to your membership in a protected class, or because you engaged in protected conduct, you could have a cause of action against your employer, or grounds for an employment discrimination lawsuit.

A “protected class” is a group of people entitled to legal protections under state and/or federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, the most famous of which is arguably Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Related laws include:

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA, N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-1 – 34:19-8)
  • New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA, N.J.A.C. §§ 13:14-1.1 – 1.16)
  • New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD, N.J.S.A. § 10:5-12)

Under these and other state or federal anti-discrimination laws, employees are protected against workplace discrimination based on membership in protected classes, including:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation

If you believe that you were fired because of your age, your racial background, your gender, your sexual orientation, your religious beliefs, your national origin, or a disability, you are urged to contact our experienced New Jersey wrongful termination attorney immediately for a confidential discussion of the circumstances surrounding your termination. If you lost your job due to workplace discrimination, your employer may have broken the law, and you could have grounds for a claim against your employer.

Related to protected classes are courses of “protected conduct.” If an employee is fired for engaging in protected conduct, he or she may have a discrimination claim against his or her employer, similar to an employee who is fired based on membership in a protected class.

While protected classes relate to employees’ attributes, such as race, gender, or disability, protected conduct relates to an employee’s actions. Examples of protected conduct include:

  • Filing a discrimination complaint, or otherwise reporting discrimination in the workplace.
  • Filing a complaint, or making a report, pertaining to employer conduct that is fraudulent or illegal. This is colloquially referred to as “whistleblowing,” “blowing the whistle” or “being a whistleblower.”
  • Serving in any branch of the U.S. military.

It is unlawful for an employer to fire you in retaliation for blowing the whistle on illegal activities, fraudulent activities, or activities that violated public policy. If you believe that you were fired as retaliation or “revenge” for filing a complaint or raising concerns regarding such activities, the North Jersey wrongful termination lawyer at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi can provide guidance as to the appropriate course of legal action.

North Jersey Wrongful Termination Attorney for Employees

At the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi, our renowned legal team has earned a reputation for providing aggressive and strategic representation on behalf of hard-working men and women like yourself. We are unafraid to challenge New Jersey’s largest and most powerful corporations when employees are victimized by discrimination or other forms of improper conduct, and our commitment to our clients is reflected in our track record of favorable case outcomes. If you suspect that you were fired improperly in violation of state or federal employee protection laws, contact our law offices right away at (973) 453-4060 for a free legal consultation concerning your rights as a worker in New Jersey.

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Law Office of Usmaan Sleemi

New Jersey Office:
90 E Halsey Rd,
Suite 309,
Parsippany, New Jersey 07054

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