Posts By: David Zatuchni

Factors That Support a Winning Verdict in a Law Against Discrimination Claim

In November of 2019, a Bergen County, NJ jury returned a $6 million dollar verdict in favor of an African-American employee, Rebecca McCarthy, after the trial of her discrimination claim against her former employer, Care One nursing home.  Ms. McCarthy maintained that Care One terminated her due to her race, and the jury emphatically agreed…. Read more »

Know Your ABC’s: New Jersey SB 4202 Has Big Implications for Independent Contractors

The distinction between employees and independent contractors for purposes of the New Jersey state wage and hour laws is already the subject of some confusion for employers and workers alike.  However, a new bill winding through the New Jersey legislature promises not only to add to the confusion, but upend some industries. SB 4202, sponsored… Read more »

The New Jersey Panic Device Law: Protecting the Safety of Vulnerable Hotel Employees

Being a hotel hospitality worker shouldn’t demand putting yourself at risk of assault, sexual assault or harassment.  Yet unfortunately, housekeepers, room service servers, and other hotel employees whose duties involve entering guest rooms alone report a high incidence of assault and/or harassment by guests.   For instance, a hospitality workers’ union conducted a survey of members… Read more »

Do You Have to Allege That Your Employer Violated a Specific Law or Policy in Order to Bring A Whistleblower Claim?

The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, or “CEPA”, makes it illegal for an employer to terminate or otherwise retaliate against an employee who objects to, or refuses to participate in, activity which the employee reasonably believes is: Fraudulent or criminal; and/or In violation of a law or regulation; and/or Incompatible with a clear mandate… Read more »

Unpaid Wages and Overtime? Know Your Rights Under New Jersey’s Wage Theft Act

New Jersey’s minimum wage has been steadily rising and, thanks to legislation signed by Governor Murphy in early 2019, is scheduled to reach 15 dollars an hour by 2024.  But perhaps the better news for employees is that New Jersey just passed increased protections for workers seeking unpaid wages and overtime. The Wage Theft Act… Read more »

Can I Be Fired For Complaining About Discrimination Directed At Another Employee?

Working as an employee who is subject to racist remarks, unwanted sexual attention, or bogus discipline due to age or disability is unpleasant, to say the least.  It can also be unpleasant for that employee’s co-workers to witness such discrimination and endure the stress it creates in the workplace.  I receive calls from many employees… Read more »

Sexual Harassment: Frank Advice to Workers From an Attorney

I’ve spent decades practicing employment law, first as an employer defense attorney, then representing employees.  Over all those years, I’ve litigated my fair share of sexual harassment lawsuits. Here’s what a seasoned employment attorney would like to advise workers regarding workplace sexual harassment: When it comes to office romances, tread carefully (or not at all)… Read more »

Can My Employer Fire Me For Using Prescribed Medical Marijuana?

In recent years, New Jersey has joined the growing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.  Indeed, in 2019, the New Jersey legislature has signaled a willingness to expand the number of licensed marijuana dispensaries in response to growing demand.  Medical marijuana use has proved a boon for patients seeking effective alternatives for managing… Read more »