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New Jersey: Employment Contract Clause Limiting Statute of Limitations Is Ineffective Against Employee

June 16, 2016 (1 min read)

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, reversing a decision by the Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that a clause in an employer’s job application form that required any claim or lawsuit against the employer to be filed no more than six months after the date of any adverse employment action could not operate as a waiver of any applicable New Jersey statute of limitations. Accordingly, in spite of the fact that the employee signed the application at the time he was hired for an at-will helper’s position, his filing of a retaliatory discharge action seven months after the termination could not be considered untimely. The Court said that a private agreement that frustrates the state’s Law Against Discrimination public-purpose imperative by shortening the two-year limitations period could not be enforced. Here, plaintiff injured his knee in a work-related accident, requiring surgery and physical therapy. He was terminated two days after he returned to full-duty work. Although the employer said the termination was due to a company-wide reduction in force, plaintiff asserted that others with less seniority or distinguishing features were retained.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., 2016 N.J. LEXIS 566 (June 15, 2016)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 104.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.