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October 2014 Archives

An overview of legal malpractice

An unexpected outcome in a New Jersey court case might cause an individual to wonder whether a lawyer has acted incompetently or inappropriately. Concerns might range from wondering if there may have been a conflict of interests to wondering if a lawyer was unaware of the law in a matter. Whatever the reason for this concern, there might be reason to explore the possibility of legal malpractice.

What is Wrongful Termination?

Many people who have been fired from their job may wonder whether the action constituted "wrongful termination." While each state has a different set of laws, many of these laws coincide. New Jersey, for instance, is like other at-will employment states. This means that either the employer or the employee may sever their relationship at any time and for almost any reason. This doesn't mean, however, that it's not possible to file a wrongful termination suit in the state.

Tipped wage may lead to harassment

As New Jersey food servers know, tips are an important way of increasing their hourly income. The tipped minimum wage in many states is $2.13 per hour. Even though employers must make up the difference between this amount and the minimum wage, getting good tips may put the food server in a position to endure sexual harassment on the job.

Categories protected from job-related discrimination

According to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of several different protected categories. Some of the protected categories include national origin, race, color, ancestry and nationality. An employer is also barred from discriminating during job-related actions on the basis of characteristics like civil union status, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation and gender expression.

At-will employment and exceptions to the rule

Since the 1800s, states have practiced the concept of at-will employment. This is based on employers and employees being on equal footing in terms of bargaining power. In practice, however, the courts recognize that as employment positions and employees' skills become more specialized, it becomes more difficult for them to find new jobs if their employment is terminated. Because of this, many states, including New Jersey, have made exceptions to at-will employment policies.

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