Mr. Malc’s client, (“DJ”) was a former employee of a large New Jersey corporation (the “Club”). He served as a Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the Club for six years during which he provided exemplary, complaint-free service. Nonetheless, on December 13, 2016, the Chief Financial Officer of the Club sent DJ a letter summarily terminating him as an employee “at will.” DJ was also subsequently discharged as a member of the Board of Directors of the Club. The termination of employment was the culmination of conduct by the Club, its president, and its chairman that violated the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) and New Jersey common law.
In December 2013, DJ learned that the Club’s president was sexually harassing an employee of the Club. That employee was then constructively discharged by the Club. Upon learning this information, DJ notified the Club’s Human Resources Director, who at the time reported directly to the Club’s president. The Club investigated the harassment allegation, but ultimately determined that no action would be taken because all employees of the Club reported to the Club’s president.
Unsatisfied with this response, DJ then reported the sexual harassment to the Club’s Board of Directors. The Club’s attorney then interviewed DJ to discuss the details of his knowledge. Shortly after this interview, the Club’s president stripped DJ of all his duties and banished him from his office at the headquarters of the Club. The Club’s president then relegated DJ to a cubicle in an overcrowded and noisy branch office, where he was left with little or no meaningful duties or authority.
On September 18, 2016, DJ e-mailed the Club’s president informing him of his neurological condition caused by a childhood head injury that makes it difficult for him to concentrate and focus in distracting environments, such as the cubicle in the overcrowded and noisy office. In a subsequent email, DJ provided a note from his psychologist requesting that he be allowed to work from home or otherwise be reasonably accommodated for his condition. Instead of engaging in the interactive dialogue required under the NJLAD, the Club ignored DJ’s request for a reasonable accommodation based on his disability and then terminated his employment. Rather than legitimately investigate the allegations of sexual harassment, put an end to the harassment, eliminate the hostile work environment, and provide DJ with a reasonable accommodation to address his disability, the Club, its president, and its chairman retaliated against DJ.
Mr. Malc pursued a lawsuit on behalf of DJ in New Jersey Superior Court. Mr. Malc litigated the case aggressively and on the eve of trial, the Defendants agreed to pay DJ’s settlement demand.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to a retaliatory employment action, feel free to contact Mr. Malc for a free consultation.