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  • NJ A4173
  • Provides for a two-year statute of limitations in discrimination case under the "Law Against Discrimination" and prohibits certain waiver provisions in employment contracts.
Introduced
(9/19/2016)
In Committee
(5/18/2017)
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill codifies the recent New Jersey Supreme Court case of Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., 2016 N.J.LEXIS 566 (June 15, 2016) which held that an employment contract cannot frustrate the public purpose of the "Law Against Discrimination," P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) (LAD) by shortening the statute of limitations period for such claims. The bill amends the LAD to prohibit any employer from requiring an employee or prospective employee to make the waiver of rights granted under LAD or any other statute, rule or regulation, including the right to a jury trial, public adjudication in a court of law, discovery of evidence, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees, or statute of limitations, a condition of hiring, continued employment or compensation or a term, condition or privilege of employment. The bill also prohibits an employer from requesting any employee or prospective employee to waive any claims prior to the existence of an actual dispute. And, finally the bill prohibits an employer from harassing, discharging, expelling or otherwise discriminating against any employee because that person has opposed any practices forbidden under this subsection or that person has filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any proceeding under this subsection. In addition, this bill codifies the holding in Montells v. Haynes, 133 N.J. 282 (1993) where the court determined that applicable statute of limitations for all actions under the LAD is the same two-year statute of limitations which applies to personal injury cases, N.J.S.2A:14-2. Under the bill, a person may bring an action under the LAD within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued. The Montells court noted that the two-year statute for personal injury claims "more closely comports with the purpose of the LAD." Id. at 291-292. As the court most recently in the Rodriguez case noted, "[T] twenty three years later, the Legislature has registered "the tacit approval of that determination [Montells]. The lack of legislative action to signal disavowal of the two-year limitations period is significant in light of the many times since Montells was decided that the Legislature has taken affirmative steps to amend the LAD in other respects." Id. Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., 2016 N.J.LEXIS 566, at 26 (June 15, 2016). It is the sponsor's intent for the Legislature not simply to register "tacit approval" of a two-year statute of limitations but rather to affirmatively act to strengthen the LAD by providing specific statutory language concerning the two-year statute of limitations and employment contract waiver provisions.
Judiciary
Reported out of Asm. Comm. with Amendments, and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee  (on 5/18/2017)
 
 

Date Chamber Action Description
5/18/2017 A Reported out of Asm. Comm. with Amendments, and Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee
9/19/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Judiciary Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
Detail 5/18/2017 Assembly Judiciary Committee: Reported with Amendments 3 1 3