According to a recent decision from New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court, employers in New Jersey can now reduce the statute of limitations for employment claims by adding the appropriate language to their job applications. Employment claims in New Jersey are often brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), which allows for a private cause of action for harassment, discrimination and retaliation, and permits recovery for lost wages, emotional distress damages, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages. The NJLAD has a two-year statute of limitations and does not require employees to file with an administrative agency before proceeding to court. Therefore, in New Jersey, it is not unusual for employees to file their employment claims just before the two-year statutory deadline. By the time discovery begins in the lawsuit, key witnesses may have left the organization and memories may have faded, making it more challenging to coordinate a defense. New Jersey employers may now be able to streamline these challenges at the outset of the employment relationship by shortening the time period for filing a lawsuit via waivers in employment applications.
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