We handle cases involving most labor and employment related matters on behalf of employers and employees of NJ corporations.
The firm prepares and reviews employment contracts, severance agreements, covenants not to compete and compensation claims. We also handle cases involving sexual harassment, discrimination, claims of all types, wrongful discharge and whistleblower claims.
I didn’t know who to turn to for legal advice. There are so many lawyers, but who was the right one for me? I wanted someone who would listen to me and someone I could afford. I knew I couldn’t afford to be without an attorney and then I remembered an old cliché...”you get what you pay for”. But there can be a difference between high price and high value. With Fredrick P. Niemann, I got a terrific attorney who really worked with me. He was with me every step of the way. His fees were fair and our interpersonal relationship great. I would recommend Fredrick P. Niemann to anyone who wants a caring attorney.
—Josephine Pysniak, Woodbridge, NJ
Fredrick P. Niemann represented me in a shareholder dispute. My calls and e-mails were promptly returned and my questions were thoroughly answered. I appreciated the frequency of their communication to me about my case and their sympathetic concern.
—Helen Eberle, South River, NJ
I own several small businesses. I’m good at what I do but legal matters and dealing with lawyers and legal issues is stressful. I called Fredrick P. Niemann and have developed a great relationship with his lawyers and staff. They have reviewed my leases, negotiated the buyout of my former business partner, handled land use problems in a neighboring county and generally have really been there for me. I really like them personally and professionally. If you are a small business owner, give them a call.
—Mike Halsey, Middletown, NJ
Severance Packages in New Jersey and Their Use in Today’s
New Jersey Corporate Business Environment
Severance Packages to Protect the Employer
and Employee Against Future Claims
Today’s business climate has necessitated unprecedented layoffs, furloughs and firings.
Both the corporate employer and employee should usually have a proposed severance package reviewed by an experienced and knowledgeable NJ corporate employment law attorney. As an employee, you may be waiving claims you are not aware of, and more importantly, are not required to waive. As an employer in NJ, you may not be addressing key issues to avoid a future lawsuit by a former employee. A proper evaluation of the circumstances surrounding an employee’s termination or separation will reveal that it may be more appropriate to pursue legal recourse instead of waiving potential claims.
Severance packages are being offered by NJ corporate employers more and more these days for many reasons, including litigation avoidance, prevent adverse publicity, prevent employees from diverting present clients, a general company policy of fairness, or because a company is obligated by contract or handbook. As an employee, you may be acquiring new and unfair obligations as a result of signing a severance agreement.
When you need assistance with a contemplated severance policy for your NJ company or the preparation and/or review of a severance agreement given to you by your employer, our firm is here for you. Contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. at email@example.com, or call him today toll-free at (855) 376-5291.
New Jersey Non-Compete Agreement Attorneys
As a corporate employer in NJ, you have spent hours to train your employees. As an employee, you have been asked to sign a non-compete agreement or else be "fired”. How do you protect yourself from employees using their information to compete against you? As an employee, what rights do you have from oppressive, unreasonable non-compete agreements? A non-compete agreement in NJ, drafted appropriately, can protect your NJ corporation from employees using or sharing your confidential and proprietary information with your competitors.
Employees of NJ corporations have rights to refuse unconscionable employee restrictions and covenants. At Hanlon Niemann, our attorneys advise employers and employees in avoiding problems that could create liability and legal difficulties later.
Non-Compete Agreement in New Jersey
Enforcing a Non-Compete Agreement in New Jersey
if you are a New Jersey Corporation
A non-compete agreement, written properly, is enforceable in limited circumstances in New Jersey and can protect your corporation from an employee who wants to join a competitor or provide proprietary or confidential information to a competitor. New Jersey law typically enforces non-compete agreements that meet the following criteria:
- Protects a legitimate business interest
- Does not deprive an employee in NJ of a right to make living
- Does not impose an unreasonable geographical limitation on an employee
- Does not remain in effect for an unreasonable amount of time
What Should You Do as an Employee in NJ Who is asked to Sign a Non-Competition Agreement?
Call us right away. Not all employees should be asked to sign a non-compete agreement. Employees who are not upper management in a NJ corporation do not have a unique function in the company typically should not be asked to sign since it is difficult to establish a legitimate business purpose in doing so and may prevent the individual from being able to make a living.
Additionally, if you are an employee who has already been working at a corporation for months or even years and is asked to sign a non-compete, is it enforceable? A non-compete, like any contract, is not enforceable without offering any new compensation or benefit to the employee for signing it. It is important to remember enforceability will depend in part on whether or not a restrictive covenant serves an essential or important corporate interest for the employer and whether some sort of compensation (financial or other) has been given. As an example, asking the President of the company or a key upper management person to sign a non-compete agreement is different than asking a clerical staff person to sign a non-compete; the former can leave the job and find non-competing employment and has access to important private corporate information whereas the latter, in most cases, is not. If an employee is asked to sign a non-compete after they have started work at a company, some sort of compensation or benefit should be offered.
To learn more about covenants not to compete in NJ, please go to covenantnottocompeteinnj.com (click here).
If you need advice or have questions on non-compete agreements, call Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t let New Jersey’s complex employment laws keep you from exercising your rights.
DEFENSE OF DISCRIMINATION CASES
Defense of Discrimination Claims Against a New Jersey Corporation
There is probably no more frequently claimed reason for being fired than unlawful discrimination by the employer against an employee in NJ regardless of the size of your company. You need to be informed and vigilant about the many federal and NJ state laws that address discrimination in the workplace. The following discrimination claims are the most frequently alleged against NJ corporation.
Defense of Sexual and Gender Based Harassment
Understanding Sexual Harassment Claims Under NJ Law in the NJ Workplace
There are basically two kinds of sexual harassment recognized by federal and New Jersey state law:
(1) Hostile-work environment - This kind of harassment occurs when an employer or agents of the employer (manager or non-manager) subject an employee to unwelcome sexual behavior (physical or verbal). A hostile work environment can exist if the unwelcome actions are severe or pervasive.
(2) Quid pro quo sexual harassment - This occurs when an employer (or agents of the employer) place terms and conditions of an employee’s continued employment on the return of sexual favors.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
The victim does not have to be the person harassed but
could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic
injury to or discharge of the victim.
The victim as well as the harasser may be a woman or a
man. The victim does not have to be of the opposite sex.
The harasser's conduct must be unwelcome.
The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, an agent of the
employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a
If you need advice or have questions about sexual harassment, call Fredrick P. Niemann at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Defense of Racial Discrimination Claims in the NJ Workplace
Federal law (as well as New Jersey law) prohibits employees from being subjected to harassment because of their race (the use of racially offensive language / innuendos and graffiti). It is also illegal if an employee is terminated, demoted, not advanced within the company, or not hired because of his or her race.
Federal and NJ state law protects every race from such practices.
Defense of Whistleblower Protection Claims in NJ
The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Law (Whistleblower Act)
Many different federal and NJ state laws protect employees who take action for violations occurring in the workplace.
New Jersey provides additional protection to employees under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). If you are a NJ corporation who may be facing a whistleblower claim or an employee who may have been unlawfully terminated, it is essential that you contact us immediately (or if you are facing or being threatened with legal action). This is because many of the federal and New Jersey laws require the initiation of legal/administrative proceedings as early as within 30 days to 180 days, depending on the statute being claimed.
If you need advice or have questions about whistleblower protection claims in NJ, call Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age Discrimination Claims in NJ
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and New Jersey state law makes it illegal for employers to make decisions that are motivated by an employee’s age. Federal law limits age related lawsuits to persons who are 40 years of age or older. However, other states such as New Jersey provide broader protections.
Many actions by an employer in NJ can indicate that age was a motivating factor in a decision that affected an employee or multiple employees. Often times there are indications of age discrimination when an employee has been loyal and dedicated to an employer for a long period of time but is terminated or subjected to disparate treatment (along with other older employees) by a new supervisor or manager.
There are different legal standards and different levels of proof required depending on whether an employee is allegedly part of a reduction in force, terminated, not hired, or subjected to other adverse actions while still employed. But one thing remains the same regardless of the type of adverse action that is premised upon an individual’s age, it is illegal.
If you need advice or have questions about age discrimination in NJ, call Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
Defense of Religious Discrimination Claims in NJ
NJ corporation employers may not be familiar with their obligations concerning an employee’s religion or religious practices. Under federal and newly enacted law in New Jersey, religion does not mean only mainstream or organized religions. Rather, an employee need only have a religious belief, common or uncommon in the community, which is sincerely held.
There are several basic religious issues recognized by federal law and New Jersey.
(1) Purposeful or indifferent willingness to make a reasonable accommodation:
Once an employee notifies his or her NJ employer that a bona fide religious belief conflicts with a job requirement, the employer must make reasonable efforts to accommodate the employee. An employer’s failure to participate in a process with the employee and/or failure to reasonably accommodate an employee may violate federal or New Jersey discrimination law. Most common accommodations sought by employees are certain days off or time off during the day (often for prayer breaks), not to have to shave, and to be permitted to wear religious garments.
(2) Religious harassment/disparate treatment:
It is generally illegal for NJ employers and/or coworkers of a NJ corporation to discriminate, harass, or in any way alter the terms and conditions of an employee’s employment (including termination) because of an employee's religious beliefs. Employees also cannot be forced to participate in religious activities.
Note that it is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on religion or for filing a discrimination charge, or participating in an investigation or case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
If you need advice or have questions about religious discrimination in NJ, call Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Defense of Disability Discrimination Claims in NJ
Discrimination Because of a Disability
Federal law defines a "disability" as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in employment as well as in public services, public accommodations and in public transportation.
The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified employees with disabilities in all aspects of employment including job applications, hiring, promotion, compensation, training and discharge.
Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual with a disability if asked. The employer must also participate in a dialogue with the employee to help determine what, if any, reasonable accommodation is feasible for the employee.
Employers cannot ask a job applicant about the existence, nature, or severity of a disability. Applicants may be questioned about their ability to perform specific job functions. A job offer can be conditional on the results of a medical examination if the examination is required for all employees in similar jobs. Medical examinations of employees must be job related and further the employer's business needs.
Every case that involves the ADA is highly fact specific and not all individuals are protected. The ADA only protects certain individuals with certain medical conditions. New Jersey law also protects individuals with disabilities, and much more protection is available than provided by the federal version of the ADA.
Are you facing a claim by an employee who alleges denial of a reasonable accommodation, believes he or she has been treated adversely because of their disability? If so, consult an experienced employment attorney with Fredrick P. Niemann to learn whether you may be protected. He can be reached toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or at email@example.com.
Claims Under NJ Family Medical Leave Act
Family Medical Leave Act
Under federal law, most Employers with 50 or more employees must provide eligible employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
For the birth and care of a newborn child of the employee;
When an employee adopts a child;
To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or
parent) with a serious health condition; or
When an employee suffers from a serious health condition,
rendering that employee unable to work.
New Jersey has enacted a much more expansive Family Leave Act that applies to all NJ corporate and non-corporate employers, even those with just one employee.
Employers cannot terminate or retaliate against employees for taking Family Medical Leave. Employees must be reinstated to their previous position or an equivalent position upon returning from Family Medical Leave. There are some circumstances when an employee can take intermittent Family Medical Leave, working more or less during the normal work week.
The Family Medical Leave Act is complicated. If you have questions, you should contact Fredrick P. Niemann toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Defense of Claims Under New Jersey’s Law
Against Discrimination (LAD)
In addition to providing some of the same protections afforded under federal law, New Jersey's LAD is a comprehensive civil rights statute that protects employees from discrimination based on some characteristics not protected under federal law. One important example is an employee's sexual orientation. An employee's rights and protections under the LAD are often greater than under federal law and those who feel they have been unfairly treated in an employment context should look closely at this statute.
As employment and labor lawyers to NJ corporations, our firm has litigated numerous cases involving complex discrimination, fair housing, A.D.A., L.A.D., covenants not to compete and other labor employment relations claims. Our attorneys have been lead NJ counsel in a multi-million dollar class action case involving hundreds of employees, a large international corporation and millions of dollars in damage claims.
Speak to Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at email@example.com. He welcomes your inquiries.
WRONGFUL DISCHARGE AND TERMINATION CASES
Wrongful Discharge and Termination: Before taking action, call our NJ corporate employment law attorneys for up-to-date legal advice.
Generally, at-will employees of a NJ corporation can be fired for any reason or no reason. There are statutory exceptions to this rule, however. At-will employees generally cannot be fired because of their age, race, sex, religion, disability, for taking a qualified medical leave, for objecting to a polygraph test, for serving on a jury, for fulfilling military duties, or merely for having a criminal conviction.
A Termination From Employment in New Jersey Cannot
Be Against the Public Policy of New Jersey
Employers are not permitted to terminate employees in NJ if the termination will violate an important public policy. For example, making certain statements of public concern, for seeking worker’s compensation or unemployment compensation, reporting safety violations in the workplace, and for refusing to engage in or commit a crime.
Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq.,
a NJ Corporation Attorney
Corporate Law Attorney serving these New Jersey Counties:
Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Camden
County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, Morris County,
Burlington County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County
New Jersey Corporate Law | NJ Corporate Employment Law | Severance
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Discrimination Lawyer in NJ | Defending Discrimination