Rao v. Rao, 2008 WL 2627625 (N.J. Super., App. Div., July 7, 2008) — In a decision that could have far-reaching effects on LAD litigation, the Appellate Division has ruled that actions taken by an employer post-termination can constitute actionable retaliation as part of a continuing violation, even if they are unrelated to the workplace. In this particular case, the post-termination act in question was to cancel Plaintiff’s health insurance, retroactive to a date prior to his termination. The Court found that the holding in Burlington Northern v. White, 548 U.S. 53 (2006) regarding Title VII applies equally to the LAD; that is, the LAD’s anti-retaliation provision creates a distinct cause of action that need not be related to the workplace.
The Court further found that because the Plaintiff did not learn of the retroactive cancellation until denial of a claim for his wife’s prior surgery, his claim could be deemed timely. The focus of a continuing violation, it said, should be whether the conduct violates the LAD, as distinguished from the continuing effect of a prior violation. The improper cancellation of Plaintiff’s insurance could violate the LAD in and of itself.
Note: This article was published in the August 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.