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Nutley Law Blog

Black New Jersey teacher told to cope with overt racism by peers

A black New Jersey elementary teacher quit the job she loved after just two years because she found the environment incredibly hostile. Despite the fact that the school has a primarily white student body, the problem wasn't racism from the parents or the students; It was the other teachers.

The woman, who was the first African-American teacher hired in the school on a full-time basis since 1990 alleges that the other teachers in her grade subjected her to racist remarks and questions, froze her out of important communications and -- acting like school bullies -- even refused to sit with her at the lunch table in the teacher's lounge.

Mistakes victims of workplace discrimination make

When you're the victim of workplace discrimination, you probably already feel like you're walking on eggshells. It's a miserable experience for anybody to go through.

If you want to succeed in getting justice, however, you have to think ahead and get tactical. Here are some big mistakes you should avoid:

3 examples of wrongful termination you should know

New Jersey is an "employment at will" state, which means that either the employee or the employer can end their working relationship at any point -- as long as doing so doesn't violate a contractual agreement or is a "wrongful" termination because it violates the law.

"Employment at will" has often been criticized as being unfair to workers -- and it does tend to favor employers more heavily than it does the average person. For example, many people mistakenly believe that they're entitled to a write-up or even three warnings before they can be legally fired. That simply isn't true unless it's part of your company's standard procedures (and maybe not even then).

McDonald's workers complain of sexual harassment

Female McDonald's employees across the nation are complaining about sexual harassment in the workplace -- and a lack of response from the company's corporate officials.

Many McDonald's locations are independently owned franchises, rather than corporate-run stores -- and it's not exactly clear what liability the national corporation has for what has been happening to female workers in those local restaurants. What is clear, however, is that many employees have had enough and are unwilling to stay silent any longer.

New Jersey student killed, others injured, following prom

The day after the Newton High School prom turned tragic when a car full of teenagers went off the road and flipped over, injuring three of the occupants and killing one 17-year-old girl.

The accident happened around 5:30 in the evening in Fredon Township, according to the New Jersey State Police. The Mercedes Benz sedan the teens were riding in had been rented specifically for the prom. The driver, a 17-year-old male, suffered a concussion. His other two passengers, another 17-year-old male and a 16-year-old female, were also injured. The female student was taken to the intensive care unit of the local hospital but is expected to recover.

Same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace

An old ad marketing a product toward women once proudly declared, "You've come a long way, baby." Maybe so -- but there are circumstances where women are still suffering the same old problems, particularly in the workplace.

We're talking about sexual harassment. In particular, we're talking about harassment by other women. As woman continue to move up in the corporate world and start businesses of their own, we're gradually re-learning something that psychologists have known all-along: Sexual harassment is about power, not gender. Female executives can be just as guilty of sexual harassment against other women (or men) as men can be.

Your right to refuse to work under unsafe conditions

Some jobs are just inherently more dangerous than others -- but nobody should be expected to put themselves in unreasonably unsafe conditions for a paycheck.

If you find yourself being asked to disregard safety rules and take on a task that you know is too dangerous, it's important to understand how to handle the situation. Here's what you need to know:

Medical marijuana users gain legal protection in New Jersey

Many people believe that the national legalization of marijuana for medicinal use is long overdue -- but it has remained a thorny subject even in states where the drug is available to some people because there are no federal protections for users.

Well, an appellate court has just ruled that employers in New Jersey, at least, cannot automatically terminate an employee for failing a mandatory drug test if that employee is using medical marijuana.

What benefits can you get from a New Jersey workers' comp claim?

For those unfamiliar with New Jersey's workers' compensation program, the benefits may seem unnecessary or even redundant. After all, you likely have health care coverage through your employer. You may even carry short-term and long-term disability insurance through a private company or through your employer.

However, those personal policies do not replace workers' compensation as a critical asset to working adults in New Jersey. In fact, the workers' compensation program is ideal for injured workers, even if they have other insurance. It offers wage replacement and medical coverage, as well as survival benefits in the event of a fatal workplace injury or illness.

Cancer signs your doctor could miss

Here's a sobering statistic: About 38.4% of people will eventually develop cancer sometime in their life. The most common cancers are breast, lung, prostate, colon, rectum, skin and bladder -- although there are plenty of other contenders. All of them are potentially lethal.

Advances in modern medicine, however, can do wonders -- improving your odds of overcoming cancer like never before. However, that's only if you get a diagnosis in time. Otherwise, you may miss your window of opportunity to halt the disease from spreading and becoming unstoppable.

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