On June 19, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division continued recent willingness of New Jersey courts to enforce employment applications that shorten the statute of limitations for employment-related claims, this time enforcing such an agreement against an immigrant from Argentina with only limited ability to read or speak English. In Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, A-4329-12T3 (App. Div. June 19, 2014), the plaintiff filed suit alleging disability discrimination and workers’ compensation retaliation nine months after the termination of his employment. While those claims ordinarily would have a two-year statute of limitations, his employment application with the defendant contained a provision requiring him to file any claim or lawsuit relating to his employment within six months of the underlying wrongful act, and waiving any statute of limitations to the contrary. Concluding that the six-month statute of limitations waiver provision was not unconscionable, the Appellate Division “decline[d] plaintiff’s invitation to impose a judicial ban on the shortening of limitation periods for claims by workers against their employers.” The court also noted that while the plaintiff was not a native English-speaker, he had lived in the United States for 20 years, and had completed the form at home with a friend who spoke fluent English and who had translated the relevant portions into Spanish for him. Reaffirming that parties are charged with knowledge of the law and with knowledge of contracts into which they have entered, the Appellate Division dismissed the plaintiff’s claims as time-barred.
Seasonwein v. First Montauk Securities Corp., 2009 WL 806637 (3d Cir., March 30, 2009) – The plaintiff was a 60-year-old compliance officer who was laid off, along with 27 other employees, when the defendant’s business went into a steep decline. A jury found in favor of the defendant on the plaintiff’s subsequent claim under the
California employers have recently seen an increase in the number of citations issued by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for violations of a General Industry Safety Order requiring that employers’ first aid materials be approved by a consulting physician.
On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that amends and significantly expands New Jersey’s existing Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and Family Leave Insurance law (NJFLI).