NJ & PA Employment Lawyers
Navigating the NJ and PA Employment Relationship through Uncertain Waters; We Negotiate Employment Agreements
The South Jersey employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC represent employees, as well as small and mid-sized employers, in the negotiation of mutually beneficial employment contracts and separation agreements. In the context of employment agreements, we seek arrangements offering maximum value and utility to employee and employer alike. In the context of separation agreements, we aim to bring closure and finality to the employment relationship and place the parties on footing from which they may succeed in their respective future ventures.
If you seek to negotiate the best possible conditions for the commencement, or conclusion, of an employment relationship in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC today.
Litigation Arising From the Employment Relationship
The employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC have extensive experience litigating claims emerging from the employment relationship in the federal and state courts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including, but not limited to, the matters discussed below. If you are a party to such an employment-based claim, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC today.
Four federal statutes – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) – prohibit employers from discriminating against an employee on the basis of the employee’s race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, association with a person of another race, color, national origin, gender, or religion, or obligation to serve in the United States uniformed services.
The Pennsylvania Human Rights Act (PHRA) provides the same protections against employer discrimination as, and is interpreted by the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania coextensively with, the aforementioned federal statutes. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) also provides these protections. The NJLAD, however, further prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee on the basis of the employee’s pregnancy, familial status, marital status, domestic partnership status, affectional or sexual orientation, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, perceived disability, and AIDS and HIV status.
If you are a party to a claim of discrimination, the employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC will thoroughly defend your rights. Please contact our firm today.
Hostile Work Environment and Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment
Federal and state law prohibit employers not only from discriminating against employees on the basis of certain protected criteria (discussed previously) but from creating and fostering a hostile work environment on the basis of such criteria. Federal and state law also prohibit quid pro quo sexual harassment, the threatening of adverse job action unless an employee performs one or more sexual favors. Sexual harassment, whether quid pro quo or in the form of the creation and fostering of a hostile work environment, can be heterosexual or homosexual in nature, and may be based upon a perception, whether or not correct, that an employee is heterosexual or homosexual.
If you are a party to a claim of hostile work environment or quid pro quo sexual harassment, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC. Our employment law attorneys will provide a robust defense of your interests.
In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, both state statute and state common law prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee under certain defined circumstances.
In New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) prohibits employers from retaliating against a “whistleblowing” employee – an employee who objects to, refuses to participate in, or discloses to a supervisor or public body, an activity that the employee reasonably believes to violate the law.
In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law (PWL) offers similar protections, but only to employees who work for a public body or for a company that receives significant funding from the federal, state, or local government.
The common law of both states prohibits both public and private employers from discharging an employee when the discharge violates a clear mandate of public policy.
Statutes including, but not limited to, the federal Family Medical Leave Act (please see below) and New Jersey’s worker’s compensation statute prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee because the employee is exercising, or attempting to exercise, rights under the statute.
If you are a party to a claim of retaliation, please contact the employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC. We will zealously defend your rights.
Wage and Hour Claims
The federal Fair labor Standards Act (FLSA), the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (NJWHA), and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) establish the minimum wages within the states and governs the payment of wages, including overtime wages.
If you have not been paid for all of the hours that you have worked for your employer, if you have not been paid the appropriate premium for overtime hours that you have worked for your employer, or if you are not being paid the minimum wage prevailing in your state, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC. We will diligently work to secure you the compensation you have rightfully earned.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) permits eligible employees to take an unpaid leave of absence to care for themselves, ill or injured family members, or new children or to deal with issues arising from a family member’s military deployment. The statute also protects the employee’s position and benefits. The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) provides similar, but less extensive, employee leave rights and protection.
Effective July 1, 2009, the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law was amended to provide eligible employees with six weeks of paid family leave to bond with a child or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.
If you believe that your employer has improperly denied you family and medical leave to which you are entitled, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC today. Our employment law attorneys will evaluate your claims and secure you the leave that you deserve.
Employment contracts and severance agreements often will contain a provision prohibiting the employee from competing with the employer within a certain geographical area or for a certain period of time or sharing with a new employer, temporarily or permanently, certain information which the employer deems to be confidential. Such provisions are called restrictive covenants. Courts review restrictive covenants on a case by case basis and may modify restrictive covenants that they deem to be unreasonable.
If you believe that you may be a party to a claim that a restrictive covenant is unreasonable, please contact the employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC. We will evaluate your claim and vigorously protect your interests.
Employment claims do not arise only when an employer takes a concrete adverse action against an employee. When an employer creates, or permits the existence, of working conditions so intolerable that a reasonable employee has no choice but to resign, the employer is deemed to have constructively discharged the employee. Like concrete acts of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, constructive discharges are unlawful. An employee, however, will not prevail on a constructive discharge claim if the employee quits at the first hint of discomfort. The employee must take all necessary and reasonable action to retain employment.
If you believe that you may be a party to a claim of constructive discharge, please contact McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC today. Our employment law attorneys will evaluate your claim and, should the constructive discharge claim be viable, vigorously defend your rights.
Breach of Employment Agreement
Generally, employment in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania is “at will.” So long as it is not motivated by discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or another impermissible motive, an employer may terminate an employee for a good reason, a bad reason, or absolutely no reason whatsoever. In certain circumstances, however, a contract of employment or an employee handbook may limit the circumstances under which an employer may terminate an employee, and an employer that disregards these limitations when terminating an employee may be liable for a breach of contract.
If you believe that you may be a party to a claim of breach of employment agreement, please call the employment law attorneys of McDowell Posternock Apell & Detrick, PC today. You can also email us to schedule a free phone consultation at our Moorestown, Maple Shade or Browns Mills offices. We will evaluate your claim and, should the breach claim be viable, assist you throughout the legal process.