Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Supreme Court of New Jersey
February 27, 1995, Argued ; July 13, 1995, Decided
A-120 September Term 1994
[*625] [**506] The opinion of the Court was delivered by
The sole issue on this appeal is whether plaintiffs, William Craig, Ellen Chapman, William Denino, and Ellen Marsillo, have standing to sue Suburban Cablevision, Inc. (Suburban) and the individual defendants for a retaliatory discharge in violation of N.J.S.A. 10:5-12d. The Law Division ruled that plaintiffs did not have standing, and the Appellate Division reversed. 274 N.J. Super. 303, 644 A.2d 112 (1994). We granted defendants' [***8] motion for leave to appeal, 139 N.J. 181, 652 A.2d 171 (1994), and affirm. We hold on the facts of this case that plaintiffs, as co-workers or relatives of an employee who sued their common employer under the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -42, may maintain an action for retaliatory discharge.
] Because the matter arises on defendants' motion to dismiss, we accept as true the facts alleged in the complaint. Rieder v. Department of Transp., 221 N.J. Super. 547, 552, 535 [*626] A.2d 512 (App.Div.1987). The test is whether the alleged facts "suggest" a cause of action. Velantzas v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., 109 N.J. 189, 192, 536 A.2d 237 (1988). Plaintiffs are entitled to every reasonable inference in their favor. A reviewing court must " 'search the complaint in depth and with liberality to ascertain whether the fundament of a cause of action may be gleaned even from an obscure statement of claim. . . .' " Printing Mart-Morristown v. Sharp Elecs. Corp., 116 N.J. 739, 746, 563 A.2d 31 (1989) (quoting Di Cristofaro v. Laurel Grove Memorial Park, 43 N.J. Super. 244, 252, 128 A.2d 281 (App.Div.1957)).
N.J.S.A. 10:5-12d makes it unlawful [***9] for an employer to take reprisals against any person who "filed a complaint, testified or assisted in any [LAD] proceeding," or who "aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by [the LAD]." The issue is whether plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to establish their standing to assert a violation of that section. Although the record contains material other than the complaint, both the Law Division and the Appellate Division treated the issue of standing as arising on a motion to dismiss. So do we.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
140 N.J. 623 *; 660 A.2d 505 **; 1995 N.J. LEXIS 322 ***; 68 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 775
WILLIAM CRAIG, ELLEN CHAPMAN, WILLIAM DENINO AND ELLEN MARSILLO, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS, AND SUSAN CHAPMAN, PLAINTIFF, v. SUBURBAN CABLEVISION, INC., FRANK DEJOY, JANE BULMAN, AND GREGORY VANDERVORT, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.
Prior History: [***1] On appeal from Superior Court, Appellate Division.
retaliation, employees, co-workers, reprisals, door-to-door, counts, sales department
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, General Overview, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Retaliation, Business & Corporate Compliance, Unfair Labor Practices, Employer Violations, Interference With Protected Activities, Title VII Discrimination