law is one of those areas of law that is highly specialized. There are
a myriad of intricacies that can easily be missed by an attorney who is
inexperienced in this area of law or who does not regularly practice in
this area. Here at S. Jason & Associates, Stephania Jason has practiced
employment law for several years in both New York & New Jersey. She
is a member of the NY & NJ Chapters of the National Employment Lawyers
Association (NELA), an association that promotes workplace rights. Ms.
Jason also regularly attends continuing legal education courses on the
subject of employment law to stay current with any new issues that arise
in employment law. She also writes a blog
analyzing current issues in employment law in New York & New Jersey.
We offer negotiation and litigation services to employees
and also offer counseling services to small businesses. Below are some
of the various employment matters we handle at S. Jason & Associates.You
can go directly to the information that pertains to you by clicking on
one of the links here Employment Counselling Employment
Agreement/Severance Package Employment Discrimination
| Gender Identity Discrimination | Sexual
Harassment | Family
Medical Leave Act | Overtime Pay
| Retaliation | Wrongful
Termination | Types of Potential
Recovery in Employment Cases |
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Some times in the course of our employment we get the feeling that things
aren’t right? Comments are made. Circumstances start to change and
we are not sure what we should do. Not every employee needs litigation.
Often they just need to talk to someone to find out their options or figure
out non-legal ways to save their job or protect their interests. At S.
Jason & Associates, we are available to counsel employees on their
Employment Agreement/Severance Package Reviews
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Whether you are just starting a relationship with an employer or ending
your relationship, it is important to have an attorney review your agreement
to make sure that your interests are being protected. This is especially
true if your agreement includes non-competition, non-solicitation, or
confidentiality provisions because these provisions can restrict your
future employment. If you have received an employment or severance agreement
and would like an attorney to review them or negotiate more favorable
terms on your behalf feel free to contact S. Jason & Associates.
Unfortunately employment discrimination is still a major concern for our
society. To help alleviate sexual harassment, federal, state and city
laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees for a variety
of reasons including race, color, sex, age, national origin, ancestry,
military obligations, religion, disability, familial status, pregnancy,
sexual orientation and gender identity. Discrimination requires an adverse
act on the part of the employer. An adverse act includes, but is not limited
to, failure to hire, failure to promote, unequal pay or treatment and
Because of statute of limitations and the requirements
of federal employment discrimination laws, if you feel you have been discriminated
against it is important that you seek the advice of an attorney as soon
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Gender Identity Discrimination
In 2007, transgender or gender identity expression was added as a separate
protected class under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Under
the new law, employers will be required to allow employees to dress and
groom themselves according to their gender identity.
Often in transgender discrimination cases an employer
feels uncomfortable with the change of the employee’s gender and
terminates them. If you are transgendered and you feel that you have been
discriminated against feel free to contact S. Jason & Associates.
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Sexual harassment comes in two forms, quid pro quo and hostile work environment.
In both types an employee is subjected to unwelcome sexual advances, verbal
or physical conduct of a sexual nature or request for sexual favors.
In quid pro quo sexual harassment the
employer, usually a supervisor, makes it clear to the employee that their
job will be affected if they do not perform sexual favors. This behavior
can be overt or subtle. This harassment usually starts with sexual suggestions
or comments or physical touching in inappropriate areas.
In hostile work environment sexual harassment
the employee is subjected to the unwelcome sexual conduct or requests
to such a degree that it interferes with the employee’s work performance
or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
of sexual harassing behavior include:
Touching such as patting, pinching or intentional brushing up against
an employee’s body
Offensive comments about looks, clothing or body parts
Staring in a sexually suggestive manner
Sending, forwarding or soliciting sexually suggestive
letters, notes, emails or pictures
Telling lewd or sexual jokes, hanging sexual posters or making sexual
At S. Jason & Associates, we seek to help employees
recover from the employer’s failure to remedy sexual harassment
in the workplace.
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Family Medical Leave Act
The goal of both the federal and NJ Family Medical Leave Acts is to provide
job security for employees who need to take time off due to the birth
or adoption of a child, or to care for a seriously ill family member.
The federal Family Medical Leave Act also allows employees to take time
off for their own serious health condition. The employee can take up to
12 weeks unpaid leave and is guaranteed the same or similar
position when they return to work. If you feel that your employer has
violated the FMLA, S. Jason & Associates can help you determine what
remedies may be available to you.
Overtime pay is one of many areas covered by the Fair Labor Standards
Act (FLSA). It is an area in which employers often violate the law. Under
the FLSA and state laws an employer must pay an employee for all
time worked. Hourly employees must also be paid time
and a half, (1 ½) times their ordinary rate, when they
work over 40 hours in a week.
Salaried employees are also eligible
for overtime under the FLSA. Many employers mistakenly believe that paying
an employee a salaried wage exempts them from overtime requirements. However,
overtime pay is determined by a number of factors. An employee who meets
certain factors is “exempt” from the FLSA. Examples of exempt
employees include executives, professionals and managers. Because of the
intricacies involved in overtime regulations it is important to have an
employment attorney review the details surrounding your employment.
following are examples of how employers often try to avoid paying overtime:
Having employees work "off the clock"
Denying employees overtime pay when the overtime is not approved by management
Paying employees their regular rate for overtime work
over one week's overtime hours into another week
a timekeeping method that automatically "clocks out" employees
either for lunch periods or at the end of a time period, regardless of
whether the employees continue working for the clocked-out time
Requiring employees to arrive early to perform necessary preparations
for work, including putting on or removing protective gear
Altering employees' time sheets.
Retaliation in the workplace occurs when an employer fires, demotes, harasses
or otherwise "retaliates" against an employee after that individual
has participated in a protected behavior. An employee who has been discharged
or demoted as the result of this type of retaliation may bring a lawsuit
against the employer.
Examples of Protected Behavior:
Reporting, or threatening to report an employer's unlawful activity to
Making safety complaints,
Protesting or filing a charge of unlawful discrimination
overtime pay or other wages
In most states, including NY & NJ employment is “at
will.” This means that unless you fall under certain exceptions
your employer can fire you or lay you off for any reason or no reason
at all. If you are fired for the following reasons you may have a case
of wrongful termination:
Due to discrimination based on color, sex, age, national
origin, ancestry, military obligations, religion, disability, familial
status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity
In violation of a written employment contract between
you and your employer
In violation of written procedures in your employee handbook
In retaliation for legally protected activity.
For taking time off when you have a legal right to take time off such
as for military duty or voting
Types of Potential Recovery in Employment Cases
· Get your job back (reinstatement)
· Receive back pay (money from the time you were
fired until the date of the court decision)
· Receive front pay (money you could have received
had you been able to return to work under better conditions)
· Compensatory damages for pain and suffering
and emotional distress
· Punitive damages
· Promotion if you were unfairly denied promotion
· Reasonable accommodations if the court found
that your employer failed to make reasonable accommodations
· Attorneys’ fees