In a recent notable decision affecting the rights of litigants in employee discrimination cases, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, ruled in Roman v. Bergen Logistics, LLC., et al., Docket No. A-5388-16T3 (August 23, 2018) that an employee cannot be barred from pursuing punitive damage claims in an arbitration proceeding, even if the employee waived her right to pursue such claims pursuant to the arbitration agreement she signed when she was hired.
While the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the employee’s suit alleging claims for sexual harassment under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) in favor of arbitration, it ruled that the section of the arbitration agreement that purported to limit the scope of the employee’s remedies to exclude punitive damages was void against public policy. In so doing, the Appellate Division ruled that “the availability of punitive damages serves the LAD’s public policy of eradicating employment discrimination by focusing on the deterrence and punishment of particularly serious discriminatory conduct by certain employees.”
If you are a victim of employment discrimination, please contact Robert Woodruff of Schiller, Pittenger & Galvin, P.C., who has extensive experience representing clients who have suffered discrimination.