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Union, New Jersey, Legal Blog

What is New Jersey's Complex Business Litigation Program?

In 2015, the state of New Jersey launched a program to address and manage complicated business litigation. Cases eligible for the Complex Business Litigation Program, or CBLP, are presided over by a group of dedicated judges, one judge for each jurisdiction in the state. The program helps business owners by providing them with a judge experienced in business litigation instead of a random judge who may not have much experience.

Not all business litigation cases qualify for the CBLP. Examples of inappropriate cases include:

  • Corporate governance disputes
  • Shareholder lawsuits
  • Business receivership cases
  • Labor organization suits
  • And issues involving customers or consumers

When auto defects harm you or your family

Purchasing a defective motor vehicle often results only in unexpected expenditures and inconvenience. For example, you might have to spend a few dollars to fix the flaw. In another example, you may be without a vehicle for a few days while you await repairs. These minor auto defects typically do not put you or your family at risk of suffering an injury, but some defects can and do present injury risks.

Many types of auto defects could put your safety in jeopardy. We have included a list of common vehicle defects that might pose danger.

Some forms of workplace discrimination are under the radar

Workplace discrimination has been under the microscope in recent years, leading to intense efforts to reduce on-the-job prejudice. Still, New Jersey workers may find themselves subjected to various levels of mistreatment on the job. Recognizing it when it occurs can be important to putting a stop to the behavior.

There are certain types of on-the-job discrimination that happen often without reprisal. These include caregiver, pregnancy and age discrimination. For example, workers who have young children or need to care for a loved one could be confronted with caregiver discrimination. Employers are often reluctant to allow employees flexible schedules and extra time off to provide care. This can spark discriminatory behaviors such as denying the worker a promotion, not giving them time off or failing to give a deserved raise.

Workplace discrimination has changed, but it still exists

Workplace discrimination used to be very overt. A white worker may tell an African American worker that they don't want to work with them; a hiring manager may tell a female worker that she's not going to get hired because they want to hire a male worker. People often did not worry much about how these attitudes came off because they were very widespread and, unfortunately, often accepted.

That has changed. Discrimination is now illegal. More workers know their rights. Supervisors and managers know that they cannot act that way, regardless of their personal feelings.

Survey finds 60% of U.S. workers see, experience discrimination

Approximately 60% of employees working in New Jersey and across the United States have experienced or witnessed some sort of workplace discrimination, according to a recent survey. The poll was posted by Glassdoor at the end of 2019.

The survey found that over 75% of U.S. workers believe their employer has hired a diverse workforce. However, around 60% of workers in the survey also reported that they had personally experienced or witnessed on-the-job discrimination based on race, gender, age or LGBTQ identity. Specifically, 45% of workers said they had experienced or seen workplace age discrimination, 42% said they had experienced or seen gender or race discrimination and 33% said they had experienced or seen LGBTQ discrimination. The study also found that U.S. workers were more likely to face discrimination than workers in the United Kingdom, France and Germany, who were also included in the survey.

Workplace retaliation top EEOC complaint in 2019

New Jersey readers might be interested to learn that workplace retaliation was the most common type of discrimination charge filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 2019 fiscal year, according to the latest annual report by the agency. Retaliation was also the most common charge filed by workers in 2018.

The EEOC report says that there were a total of 72,675 workplace discrimination charges filed in 2019, which is less than the 76,418 filed in 2018. Of those charges, the agency found that nearly 70% failed to show a reasonable cause. However, successful claims resulted in 157 enforcement lawsuits, which brought in $346.6 million in monetary settlements. Approximately $205 million of the settlement funds came from retaliation suits, and another $68.2 million came from sexual harassment claims.

Implicit bias training may be flawed

Large companies such as Google and Papa John's have used implicit bias training in an effort to make their organizations more inclusive. However, there is some question as to whether their employees in New Jersey and throughout the country actually benefit from it. Research has shown that attempt to teach people about their biases may actually work to further affirm their views. Ultimately, implicit bias training may only be effective if people want to learn about stereotypes and how to overcome them.

There is also some question as to whether it's possible to determine a person's implicit biases. One test revealed that people who had racist tendencies behaved in much the same way as those who didn't show them. Telling a person who hasn't acted in an overtly racist manner that he or she could still be a racist may not be the best idea.

NBER finds signs of age discrimination in many job postings

Widespread age discrimination sometimes makes finding a job difficult for older adults in New Jersey. A report released by the AARP strongly suggested that employers favor younger job applicants. An analysis of the language within job postings by the National Bureau of Economic Research supported this claim. The NBER identified the frequent use of words and conditions meant to attract younger job applicants and discourage older ones.

The authors of the NBER study of job postings described linguistic evidence derived from stereotypes of older workers. They exposed numerous examples of job openings that emphasized requirements for physical abilities and technology skills. Job postings stating that applicants had to lift certain amounts of weight or possess experience with specific software could show that those employers wanted to hire young people.

Uber settles sexual harassment charge with the EEOC

Employers in New Jersey and around the country can be held accountable by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission when they fail to address discrimination and harassment in the workplace. The EEOC launched an investigation when several workers at the ride-sharing company Uber complained about sexual harassment and retaliation, and the agency reported on Dec. 18 that the complaints appear to be legitimate.

The EEOC says that it has reasonable cause to determine that Uber tolerated a culture of sexual harassment and retaliated against workers who complained. The California-based ride-sharing company has agreed to pay $4.4 million to settle the matter. An Uber representative said that the company was pleased to work with the EEOC and has replaced its CEO and changed its workplace culture since the events investigated by the agency took place. Initial reports do not reveal how many Uber workers are expected to be compensated.

Riot Games settles workplace discrimination claim

New Jersey residents may be familiar with the video game "League of Legends." Riot Games, the company that publishes the online battle game, has recently been ordered to pay out $10 million for a class-action gender discrimination lawsuit. A thousand female employees of Riot Games will be compensated in varying amounts depending on their length of employment.

The lawsuit was filed in 2018 after Kotaku investigated the so-called "bro culture" at Riot that many employees reported experiencing. Twenty-eight people came forward to say that women working at Riot were treated like outsiders and denied the same employment opportunities as their male coworkers. When Riot tried to use legal arbitration to resolve some of the complaints in Spring 2019, many employees walked out of work in response. Riot agreed to settle the lawsuit in August.

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