Court Decision: Remote Workers at New Jersey Companies are Covered By LAD
Are you a remote worker who is employed by a New Jersey-based company but is located outside of the state? A recent decision from a federal court could have important implications for your rights. On July 14th, 2023, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey ruled in favor of an employee in the case of Schulman v. Zoetis, Inc. In this article, our Monmouth County employee rights attorneys provide a comprehensive overview of the case.
Case Analysis: Schulman v. Zoetis, Inc.
Background & Facts
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is the state law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees. Notably, it is one of the most comprehensive state-level anti-discrimination laws in the country—meaning the LAD is relatively employee-friendly.
The plaintiff in this case was located in New Hampshire. The plaintiff was a remote worker who was employed by a company that was headquartered in New Jersey. She filed a lawsuit against her employer alleging violations of the LAD’s equal pay provisions.
The employer moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the employee was not actually covered by New Jersey’s LAD. The employer’s primary legal argument was that the employee was not actually located in the state. Indeed, she was not a New Jersey resident at all. The employee countered that she was still covered by state law because she was a remote worker of a New Jersey-based employer. She also noted that the case in question alleged an equal pay violation and that the corporate executives that may pay decisions were themselves located in New Jersey.
To be clear, this case was before a federal court in New Jersey. The District Court rejected the Defendants’ claims, observing that the New Jersey Supreme Court has yet to decide if the NJLAD covers remote workers of New Jersey firms working outside the state. The Court, basing its decision on an intermediate appellate state court decision, determined that the LAD’s protections do extend to remote workers employed by New Jersey companies but operating outside the state.
The Implications for Workers
The decision from the federal court in New Jersey could have significant implications for remote workers. In the view of the court, remote workers who are located outside of New Jersey can still be covered by the LAD if their employer is primarily based in our state. It is crucial for employee rights because, as was noted previously, New Jersey has some of the most comprehensive and worker-friendly employment law protections in the United States.
Contact Our New Jersey Employment Attorney for Immediate Help
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of workers. If you are a remote worker who had your rights under the LAD violated by a company in New Jersey, we can help. Contact us today to set up your completely confidential consultation. From our Monmouth County employment law office, we represent employees throughout New Jersey.