In March 2013, Bill Healey obtained a favorable arbitration decision on behalf of a business owner whose former partner perpetuated a fraud. Specifically, through the use of a secret bank account, the former partner was found to have stolen a substantial amount of money over the years that should have been deposited into the partnership’s operating account. The decision ends a hard fought dispute that started in 2009.
Unemployment Appeal Victory–Independent Contractor Model Preserved
Phillip Ray won a New York unemployment appeal for a client that used independent contractors for its early intervention child services. The Appeal Board reversed its initial decision and found that the client’s relationship with the independent contractors had insufficient indicia of control to convert them into employees. The Appeal Board recognized that the County, with whom the client contracted, was the source of the control and direction of the client’s independent contractors. As a result, the client was able to maintain its business model and avoid paying payroll taxes for the independent contractors.
Dismissal of Complaint Based on Joint-Employer Liability Theory
On August 10, 2012, the New Jersey Superior Court granted our motion, filed in lieu of an Answer, to dismiss the employment discrimination claims against our client. The sole basis for suing our client was the plaintiff’s joint-employer liability theory, whereby our client, who was merely a contractor on the job site, was alleged to have exercised substantial control over the plaintiff’s employment. Fortunately, before we had to defend the frivolous claims any further, the Court agreed with our motion and ended the litigation at a very early stage.
Dismissal of All Claims Against Dental Practice
On August 9, 2012, the New Jersey Superior Court granted our motion for summary judgment and ended a hard-fought employment case. The plaintiff, a receptionist in a dental practice, filed numerous claims, including wrongful termination, hostile work environment, defamation, unpaid overtime and disability discrimination. After we convinced the federal court to dismiss the Americans with Disabilities Act claim, the case was remanded to state court. A few months later, the state court granted our motion to dismiss all claims against the dental practice.
Dismissal of Former Employee’s Claim for Unpaid Vacation Benefits
On May 17, 2012, we successfully defended our client, a community healthcenter, against a former employee’s claim for unpaid vacation before the New Jersey Department of Labor.
On April 5, 2012, the Appellate Division affirmed the Trial Court’s grant of summary judgment dismissing all claims against one of our clients. In Pichler v. Jersey Elevator, the plaintiff, the former vice-president, was terminated after several incidents, the “last straw” being his second arrest for domestic violence against his son (who was also an employee). The president cited the plaintiff’s violations of the company’s anti-harassment policy as the reason for termination and stated he believed the plaintiff’s consumption of alcohol impaired his performance. The appellate panel affirmed the dismissal of the Law Against Discrimination complaint. Applying a disparate treatment analysis, the panel concluded that, even if the plaintiff offered a prima facie case of discrimination, he did not demonstrate that the proffered termination reason was pretextual. The conduct in question was directed at an employee and constituted an alarming escalation of conduct that had been reported in the workplace for several years.
Dismissal of Former Salesman’s Claim for Unpaid Commissions
On February 10, 2012, the New Jersey Department of Labor conducted a hearing and dismissed all aspects of a former salesman’s claim for commissions against our client, an Ocean County boat retailer.
Court Grants Application for Temporary Restraints Against Our Client’s Former Employee
On February 21, 2012, for a client in the financial services industry, we obtained a temporary restraining order against a former employee who violated the non-competition and confidentiality provisions in his employment agreement.
Dismissal of ADA Claim Involving Former Employee’s Alleged Hearing Impairment
On March 12, 2012, a federal judge granted our motion, on behalf of a dental practice in Union County, to dismiss a former employee’s claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Performance Management Training
On February 22, 2012, Mark Kluger conducted a performance management training seminar for 50+ senior managers of Roseland Property Company at the Company’s waterfront Port Imperial location. Topics included effective means of improving employee performance, goal setting and properly preparing performance appraisals, documenting performance problems and planning safe and defensible exit strategies. Earlier this year, Mark presented a similar training program for the senior staff of the YMCAs of Union and Passaic Counties.