Sepulveda v. Borne Holding Co., Inc., 2010 WL 5018534 (App. Div., December 9, 2010) – As the debate continues over the applicability and scope of individual liability under the NJLAD, the Appellate Division recently announced that the officers of a company may be individually liable for aiding and abetting the “employer” in committing discriminatory acts. When the plaintiff’s employer, Borne Holding Co. (BHC), decided to relocate, a supervisor advised the plaintiff that he was required to work on Sundays to assist. The plaintiff told the company president and vice president that his religious beliefs prevented him from working on Sundays. Neither attempted to accommodate him; rather, the vice president told him that he would be “written up,” and then the president fired him. The plaintiff sued BHC for failure to accommodate a religious belief under the NJLAD, and asserted individual liability against the president and vice president for aiding and abetting BHC’s wrongful acts. The Appellate Division held that a reasonable jury could conclude that the company officers had aided and abetted the employer because they knowingly and substantially assisted the employer in committing the wrongful act.
In Kiernan v. AAA Mechanical, Inc., No. 10-4421 (MLC), 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90655, (D.N.J. June 29, 2012), the plaintiff sued her employer for overtime compensation under the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law shortly after the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) conducted an investigation on her behalf and determined the employer was in violation of the law.
California’s Gender Identity Legislation: New Protections for Transgender Employees Working with State Agencies
On October 7, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 703 (SB 703), protecting transgender employees whose employers engage in business with state agencies. Specifically, the bill expands on the state’s pre-existing discrimination laws by prohibiting “a state agency from entering into contracts for the acquisition of goods or services of $100,000 or more with a contractor that discriminates between employees on the basis of gender identity in the provision of benefits.”
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an employer is prohibited from denying, restraining, or interfering with an employee’s rights to qualified leave. One federal court recently found that an employer’s frequent phone calls to the employee asking when she would return to work while she was on FMLA leave may have interfered with