Category Archives: Discrimination

Sexual Assault Laws: 4 Things Every Woman Needs To Know In 2018

Sexual Assault Laws: 4 Things Every Woman Needs To Know In 2018

Sexual assault laws are confusing to many victims, and they vary from state to state. Even in situations in which the victim has physical evidence to support the claim, many of these cases never are filed in criminal court. It is important to understand the sexual assault laws as well as the potential for obtaining legal remedies if you have been a victim. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler might be able to advise you about your rights. Here are four things that you should know about sexual assault laws.

1. Each state has its own statute of limitation.

Every state has a statute of limitations, which is the time period within which a lawsuit can be filed or a crime report can be made. In the case of a sexual assault, some states only allow victims a period of a few years to file criminal cases while others allow decades. If the victims were minors at the time of the offenses, the statutes of limitations differ. Newly discovered DNA evidence may also change the statute of limitations if the perpetrator was previously unknown.

2. Many sexual assault cases are never prosecuted.

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, fewer than half of all rapes are reported to law enforcement. Out of those that are reported, only 12 incidents will result in arrests. Among those who are arrested, just nine of the cases will be prosecuted, and only three of the perpetrators will serve more than one day in jail or prison.

In the criminal justice system, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime before the defendant can be found guilty. This burden of proof is much higher than the burden of proof that is required in civil cases. As a result, many prosecutors will not take cases that they have questions about whether they can win. Consequently, a greater number of sexual assault cases proceed through civil court instead of criminal court.

3. National hotlines are available to victims.

It can be very difficult to understand what to do after you have been the victim of a sexual assault. Whether you are wanting help to bring a criminal or civil case, there are many resources that are available to help you. Some of the available hotlines include the following:

4. The burden of proof is on the victim.

If your case is prosecuted in criminal court, you will go through an arduous process during which you will have to tell your story numerous times. The prosecutor has the burden of proof to prove that the defendant committed the crime. In some cases, physical evidence is not available to prove a definite link between the defendant and the crime. For example, some perpetrators force their victims to take showers and use condoms, washing away evidence that might otherwise have existed.

When physical evidence doesn’t exist, these cases often turn on the victims’ words versus those of her attackers. This can make the cases very difficult if the victims had any prior relationships with their attackers. When the victims are intoxicated, jurors will sometimes place blame on the victims even though the attacks were not their fault.

Get legal help

If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, you might need legal help. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler might be able to offer you guidance about reporting what happened to you. They may also be able to assist you with filing a civil lawsuit against the attacker for the harms that you have suffered whether or not your case is criminally prosecuted. Call us today or complete our contact form to learn more about the rights that you might have.

When Does Sexual Harassment at Work Become a Crime?

When Does Sexual Harassment at Work Become a Crime

Victims of workplace sexual harassment can be greatly impacted. They might have trouble performing the tasks of their jobs. They may also be prevented from getting promotions and might also lose their jobs. While workers are able to seek relief through the civil process for workplace sexual harassment, the civil laws do not make the conduct criminal.

In some cases, however, sexual harassment may cross the line into criminality. If the conduct that has been directed at you is also criminal in nature, it is important for you to recognize it and to understand what to do. The experienced lawyers at Swartz Swidler might help you with the civil process while also advising you about how to report the conduct to the authorities.

Understanding sexual harassment

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, workplace sexual harassment is a prohibited form of sex discrimination. It consists of sexual conduct that is unwelcome and that is either used as a basis for making employment decisions or that creates a workplace environment that is hostile.

Sexual harassment may include physical and verbal actions such as repeated comments, requests for sexual acts, unwanted touching, unwanted advances and sexual acts. In some cases, prohibited sexual harassment may also be criminal.

When does sexual harassment rise to the level of a crime?

Some forms of sexual harassment are obviously criminal in nature such as a sexual assault at work. Others are not as clear such as verbal sexual harassment. The local criminal laws in your jurisdiction will control whether such conduct is also a crime. Here are several examples of state law that might make workplace sexual harassment criminal in nature.

Rape, unwanted touching and sexual abuse

Rape is illegal under the laws of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and includes penetration without consent. In addition, criminal sexual contact may include unwanted touching of a victim’s sex organs or forced touching of the perpetrator’s sex organs. The unwanted touching can be over clothing and still be criminal if it is done without consent.

  • Assault

In some cases, a person may be physically assaulted by a harasser. Even if the assault is not a sexual assault, the physical contact may be a crime. Examples of criminal assaults that might be done for purposes of intimidation may include such things as hitting, pushing or other physical contacts. If you are assaulted at work by your harasser, you may press criminal charges in addition to filing discrimination complaints. Your attorneys at Swartz Swidler can help to guide you through the process.

  • Menacing

Under the laws of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, menacing can constitute a simple assault. Menacing occurs when the harassers make physical threats against the victims in an effort to place them in imminent fear of injury or death through threats. Menacing is a crime in both states.

  • Stalking

Commonly, sexual harassers at work engage in a pattern of ongoing behavior. If the conduct is repeated, it may fall under the definition of stalking. The harassers may be guilty of criminal stalking when they engage in repeated acts that cause the victims to feel reasonably fearful for their own safety or that of others. An example of this type of conduct could include repeated phone calls or text messages from a coworker or supervisor or being repeatedly followed.

  • Unlawful imprisonment

If your movement at work is restricted by another person at your job, it might rise to the level of criminal unlawful imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment occurs when your movement is restricted in such a way that your liberty is substantially limited. In the context of workplace sexual harassment, you may be unlawfully imprisoned if your supervisor or a co-worker demands sexual favors or makes unwelcome sexual advances in an office and prevents you from leaving.

What to do if you have been the victim of criminal conduct and sexual harassment

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment that rises to the level of a crime at your job, you should report what happened to the police. Law enforcement authorities can help you with filing your criminal complaint. You should also contact the employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler for advice about your corresponding civil claim. You may be able to receive redress through both the criminal and civil justice systems.

Contact Swartz Swidler today to learn more about how to handle your case.

When Does Flirting And Bantering Cross The Line?

When Does Flirting And Bantering Cross The Line

As stories of powerful people who have allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted women consume the news cycle, some people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania might wonder where to draw the line between harmless flirting and bantering at their workplaces and sexual harassment. In the workplace, sexual harassment is illegal under both state and federal law.

Some workers and employers are uncertain what constitutes illegal behavior and what is prohibited sexual harassment. If you believe that you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, you might want to talk to the experienced employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler to learn about your potential rights.

Flirting and banter vs. sexual harassment

Many workplaces have long been marked by harmless flirting and inappropriate jokes. This type of conduct may cross the line into illegal conduct when it is unwelcome. However, it may be difficult to know when flirting or joking is unwelcome. Under the law, people who feel harassed by flirting or inappropriate jokes must speak up. In general, courts will not find that illegal sexual harassment has occurred unless there are multiple incidents that are ongoing despite documented complaints.

While most people might find crude jokes to be uncomfortable, they are generally not considered to be illegal sexual harassment when they are not directed toward individual people at work. If you feel uncomfortable about the banter that happens at your job or because of flirting, you should tell a supervisor about your discomfort.

Workplace sexual harassment policies

There are regulations in place that help employers to establish sexual harassment policies at their workplaces. If your workplace has become a hostile working environment to such an extent that it is difficult for you to be able to perform your job duties because of ongoing sexual harassment, you must follow your employer’s complaint procedures before you can file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Your employer must have notice of the harassment and an opportunity to investigate your complaint. If your employer does not investigate your complaint or retaliates against you for complaining, you may have legal rights.

How Our Attorneys might help

If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, an experienced employment lawyer may guide you through the steps of the internal complaint process at your job. Your complaint must be submitted in writing and follow the policies of your company. You should document all instances of harassment with the dates, times, what was said and who was present. If your employer fails to investigate your complaint or to take appropriate action, your attorney may assist you with filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC or the corresponding state agency.

Contact Swartz Swidler to learn more about your potential claim and to get help.

How Much Can I Get When Suing My Employer For Discrimination?

How Much Can I Get When Suing My Employer For Discrimination

People who have been the victim of workplace discrimination or harassment might wonder how much they might expect to recover if they file lawsuits against their employers. While some cases do proceed to trial, a majority are settled outside of the court process. If you have been the victim of discrimination or harassment at your job, the attorneys at Swartz Swidler might value your claim and advise you of the amount that you might expect to recover.

Income losses

If you were fired from your job illegally, you may recover the salary and benefits that you would have received if you were not fired. It is important for you to understand that you are expected to have tried to mitigate your damages by trying to find a new job. If you haven’t attempted to do so, your claim’s value may be significantly reduced.

Emotional distress damages

In some cases, workers are able to successfully sue for the emotional stress that their employers’ conduct has caused them. In order to prove that you have suffered emotional harm, you will likely need to have a mental health professional testify on your behalf. You will not need to have been diagnosed with a condition such as anxiety or depression. It is possible to recover damages for the type of stress that people experience when they are terminated from their jobs.

Are you in a position to file a lawsuit?

An employment lawyer at Swartz Swidler may discuss several things with you in order to determine whether or not you are in a position to file a lawsuit against your employer. Your lawyer will explain that lawsuits are very long and sometimes take years before they reach settlements. Employers often defend against lawsuits aggressively and are slow to settle because of concerns that other workers will also file lawsuits.

Your attorney might also explain that your former employer may attack your reputation. In order to defend against claims of discrimination, some employers claim that they had other reasons to fire their employees. To make these claims, they may try to prove that you were a poor employee.

You will need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. Then, you will need to work together with your attorney to determine what a reasonable demand for settlement should be. Finally, you will need to decide whether or not you are willing to go through the lengthy process so that you can potentially recover compensation and hold your employer accountable.

How strong is your claim?

Your attorney will also evaluate the strength of your claim when determining its value. If it is not a strong case, the attorneys at Swartz Swidler will provide you with an honest assessment.

The attorneys at Swartz Swidler are focused on employment law and work hard to help their clients who have suffered from illegal discrimination. If you believe that your employer has discriminated against you, contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Can I Be Fired Because of My Tattoos?

Can I Be Fired Because of My Tattoos-

If you have tattoos, you might wonder if it is legal for your employer to fire you because of them or to make you cover them while you are working. Whether or not your employer can fire you for your tattoos or require you to cover them will depend on the dress code and grooming policies that your employer has in place. It will also depend on whether or not your employer is consistent in enforcing those policies and whether or not your tattoos have religious significance for you. The attorneys at Swartz Swidler might help you to determine if you were treated wrongfully because of your tattoos.

Employer grooming and dress code policies

Employers are allowed to implement grooming standards and dress codes in their workplaces. For instance, a doctor’s office might require front-office employees to dress in business clothing while a restaurant might mandate that its servers wear pants and shirts of specific styles and colors.

Some workplaces likewise have policies about employees who have tattoos. They might ask that employees cover them up while they are working with clients or customers. Appearance policies are legal unless they violate federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination. These policies may also be illegal if they are applied in discriminatory ways.

Anti-discrimination laws

Employers are prohibited from taking adverse job actions based on certain protected characteristics, including color, race, sex, national origin and religion. There are also laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age, disability and genetic information. In New Jersey, the Law Against Discrimination provides protection under state law.

Employers who apply their grooming policies in discriminatory ways may be in violation of the law. For instance, if employers require their Hispanic workers to cover their Spanish-language tattoos because they believe that they might be perceived as gang-related, that would be prohibited discrimination based on the workers’ national origin. Employers who enforce their policies on the basis of sex may also be in violation of the law.Some employees with religious tattoos who were asked to cover them or fired because of their tattoos have sued on the basis of religious discrimination.

Freedom of speech

Some people think that their First Amendment rights are violated when their employers require them to cover their tattoos. The First Amendment only protects people from governmental efforts to stifle speech. Private-sector employers are private actors and are not covered under the requirements of the First Amendment.

Contact an experienced employment law attorney

If you believe that your employer applied its appearance policy in a discriminatory way against you, you might be able to file a lawsuit. Contact Swartz Swidler to schedule your consultation today.

Common Mistakes Employers Make Concerning The Older Workers’ Protection Act

Common Mistakes Employers Make Concerning The Older Workers' Protection Act

Many employment law attorneys receive requests to review severance offers. If you have received a severance offer, you may want to have your offer reviewed by an experienced attorney at Swartz Swidler to make certain that it complies with the requirements of the Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act, or the OWBPA. Roughly half of all severance offers do not comply with the OWBPA.

OWBPA requirements for a release of age discrimination claims

Many severance offers will ask workers to release their rights to file age discrimination claims. In order for these to be valid, they must adhere to the following:

  • The waiver must be understandable and in writing.
  • It must refer to ADEA claims or rights.
  • The employee cannot waive claims or rights that might arise in the future.
  • Valuable consideration must be offered in exchange for the waiver, which must be more than the employee is otherwise entitled to receive.
  • The employee must be advised in the waiver in writing to consult with a lawyer before signing.
  • The employee must be given at least 21 days to consider the waiver agreement and at least seven days to revoke it after signing.

Any severance offers to employees who are older than 40 must comply with these requirements. Waivers that are requested in connection with a workforce reduction have additional requirements.

Waivers in workforce reductions

When waivers are requested as parts of the severance offers that are extended to a group or class of employees, each individual employee must have at least 45 days to decide whether or not to agree to the waiver instead of 21 days. The workers must also be given a list of the ages and job titles of those who are eligible for the program along with the ages of those people in the same unit or with the same job classification who were not selected for the program.

This means that employers who are offering severance packages to reduce their workforces must give all of their employees who are 40 or older with a list of the employees in the same unit who are being offered the severance package in order to waive their claims. The employers must also disclose the eligibility criteria that they used for the severance programs. If the employers fail to comply, the waivers will be invalid.

Contact Our Attorneys

If you are older than 40 and have been offered a severance package in exchange for a waiver of your rights under the ADEA, you might want to consult with the experienced employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler. Our attorney may help you to evaluate the waiver and determine whether or not it complies with the OWBPA. Contact us today to learn about your rights.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Pregnancy Discrimination

7 Things You Didn't Know About Pregnancy Discrimination

If you are pregnant and employed, you are protected by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law protects working women who become pregnant by prohibiting discrimination based on pregnancy. Despite this law, some employers still discriminate against pregnant workers. If you believe that you have been the victim of pregnancy discrimination, the attorneys at Swartz Swidler might be able to help you.

It is important for you to understand your rights as a pregnant employee. Here are seven important things that you need to understand about workplace pregnancy discrimination.

1. PDA prohibits discrimination in all employment aspects

You are protected under the PDA in all aspects of employment, This includes hiring, promotions, firing, salary and other benefits. Your employer may not have policies that prevent women from doing certain jobs just because they are pregnant or capable of becoming pregnant. Policies that have a disparate impact on women because of pregnancy or fertility are also prohibited.

2. Covered workplaces

Employers who have 15 or more employees are covered by the PDA. If your workplace has fewer than 15 employees and is in New Jersey, your employer is also covered under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

3. Retaliation is prohibited

Retaliatory employment actions by employers against pregnant workers are also prohibited. If you are fired because you filed a complaint about pregnancy discrimination, you may have grounds to file a suit for retaliatory discharge as well as pregnancy discrimination.

4. Promotions

It is illegal for employers to pass over workers for promotions simply because they are pregnant. This may constitute a violation of the PDA.

5. Pregnancy and maternity leave

If you need to take maternity or pregnancy leave, the PDA mandates that your job must be held open for you just as long as it would be held open for a worker who is on leave because of a disability or illness.

6. Disclosure is not required

You are not required to inform potential employers or your current employer about your pregnancy. Employers are forbidden from refusing to hire workers because they are pregnant as long as they are able to perform the functions of their jobs. They also cannot ask workers if they are pregnant or if they plan to get pregnant in the future.

7. Some organizations can treat pregnant, unmarried women differently

Courts have held that certain religious organizations or companies that work with young people may discriminate against workers who violate the standards against premarital sex. Employers who do this must also treat men who engage in premarital sex in similar fashions. At a majority of companies, pregnancy-related benefits may not be limited to only those employees who are married.

How to complain

If you believe that your rights have been violated under the PDA, you can file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It is important for you to act quickly because the deadline for the complaint is normally within 180 days of the discriminatory act.

When you are preparing to file your charge, make certain to write down everything that happened, including the place, date and time of the incident. It is important to do this as soon as possible after it happens. Keep copies of your notes at your home.

If your company has a union representative, talk to him or her. You should also speak to your employer and check your employee handbook. Continue doing a good job at work and keep a record of it. Keep copies of all of your job evaluations along with any memos or letters that document your job performance.

While you are not required to have an attorney to file a discrimination charge, you might benefit from getting legal help. Contact Swartz Swidler to schedule your consultation today.

Establishing a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination Under Title VII

Establishing a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination Under Title VII

In Latin, prima facie means at first glance. When a litigant is in court, he or she can make a prima facie case by submitting evidence that would be enough to support his or her allegations if they were believed by the jury or judge. When a worker sues his or her employer for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the worker must have enough evidence for a prima facie case of discrimination. If the worker meets that initial burden, the burden of proof shifts to the employer, who must present evidence that there was a nondiscriminatory reason for the disputed employment decision. The worker will then be able to challenge the evidence offered by the employer by showing that the employer’s reasons were pretextual.

Title VII

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against members of the Title VII protected classes. This includes discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, color, race or national origin. Employers are likewise prohibited from retaliating against workers who have participated in an investigation or exercised their rights to file discrimination complaints.

What is a prima facie case of discrimination?

Workers establish a prima facie case by meeting the elements of a test that has been established by the courts. If the workers cannot meet these elements, the employers can request dismissals of the lawsuits. The employee must show all of the following:

  • The worker is a member of a protected class
  • The worker has the qualifications for the job.
  • The worker was denied the job.
  • The employer either filled the job with a worker who is not a member of a protected class or kept the position open without filling it.

What the employer must show

After a worker has established a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the employer. The employer must submit evidence showing that the decision was made because of a nondiscriminatory and legitimate reason. For instance, in a case involving an employee who claims that she was fired because she is a woman, an employer might present evidence that the woman was fired because of her poor job performance.

Rebutting the employer’s reason with pretext

After the employer has presented its evidence, the worker will then be able to rebut it by showing that the reason was actually pretextual and that the employer’s real motive was discrimination. The employee might present evidence that rebuts the employer’s reason in order to demonstrate that it indicates discrimination.

The employee ultimately has the burden of proving his or her own discrimination claim. The worker must have enough evidence to convince a jury or judge that discrimination occurred. The employer only has the burden of proving that there is some evidence supporting a legitimate purpose.

Contact an experienced employment law attorney

If you feel that your employer illegally discriminated against you, getting legal help from an experienced employment law attorney might be beneficial. An attorney at Swartz Swidler can offer you an honest assessment of your claim and how you might proceed. Contact Swartz Swidler today to schedule your consultation.

5 Things You Need To Know About Employment Class Action Lawsuits

5 Things You Need To Know About Employment Class Action Lawsuits

Employment class actions involve massive cases that sometimes involve damages that range into the millions of dollars for violating employers. A class action results when multiple employees endure the same workplace discrimination or other employment law violation and join together in a single large case against the employer. Class action lawsuits can help the victims to receive justice while also deterring future violations by the employer as well as others.

What is an employment class action lawsuit?

An employment class action lawsuit is a single lawsuit on behalf of numerous plaintiffs who have identical claims against a single employer. Damages are sought in a single action for the entire group instead of for individual employees in separate lawsuits. For example, if your employer is refusing to pay you overtime, it is likely that other workers are also owed overtime, potentially giving the grounds for a court to certify a class action case.

Requirements for class action lawsuit

In order to file a class action lawsuit, it is important for you to understand what constitutes a class action lawsuit. The legal claim must be one that isn’t unique to one individual but instead negatively impacts an entire group of individuals. The number of individuals that have the grounds to file lawsuits is so great that it would be impractical to fill up a courthouse with multiple identical cases against the same employer. When these factors arise, your lawyer at Swartz Swidler may file a motion with the court asking that your case is certified as a class action lawsuit.

How many people are needed for a class action lawsuit?

Technically, there is no minimum number of people required to qualify for a class action lawsuit. However, getting fewer than 40 people certified to participate may make the process an uphill battle. Although smaller class action lawsuits are sometimes approved, they are rarer than large classes involving hundreds or thousands of employees.

How is an employment class action different than an individual employment case?

An individual employment case deals with the legal claims of a single employee. An employment class action becomes relevant when large groups are all facing the same difficulties.

What are the requirements of an employment class action lawsuit?

First, the disputed issue isn’t one that negatively impacts just one individual or a few people but instead impacts an entire group of individuals. Second, the number of individuals negatively impacted are so great, it would be impractical to try all of the cases separately.

What are the various stages of a class action case?

After the case is filed, the lawyer will then have it served on the defendant and will wait for a response. The defendant will file a response and may also file a motion asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. After the court makes the decision about whether or not the case will be allowed to proceed, both sides will enter into the discovery phase. The attorney may then file a motion with the court asking that it certifies the case as a class action lawsuit. The defendant will then have the opportunity to respond by filing opposing briefs challenging the validity of the case. The judge weighs all evidence presented and renders a judgment on whether this certification will be granted or denied. If granted, the case will continue with a class-action status.

The employment class action lawyers at Swartz Swidler are highly trained to handle class action lawsuits. If you are in the New Jersey or Pennsylvania area and feel you have a potential class action suit, please call Swartz Swidler today and schedule an appointment. We may be able to help you.

What Age Discrimination Damages Can I Collect?

What Age Discrimination Damages Can I Collect?

If you are successful with your age discrimination claim, the amount of compensation you might expect to receive will depend on the losses that you have incurred as a result of the discrimination. Your available damages may include your lost pay, attorney’s fees, liquidated damages and emotional distress. If you sue under state law in New Jersey, you may also be able to recover punitive damages, but they are not allowed under federal law. Your age discrimination lawyer at Swartz Swidler may advise you on the types of damages that might be available to you in your particular case.

Age discrimination laws

Age discrimination is prohibited federally as well as under the anti-discrimination laws of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The availability of damages differs depending on whether you sue under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, employers that have 20 or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against workers who are 40 years old or older. Covered employees are not allowed to discriminate in any aspect of employment from hiring to firing. Some workplace policies that do not overtly appear discriminatory may be deemed to constitute age discrimination if they have a disparate impact on older employees.

New Jersey and Pennsylvania age discrimination laws

New Jersey and Pennsylvania each have their own state laws that prohibit work-related age discrimination. New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination allows employees to recover punitive damages to punish their employers. It also applies to workers of all ages, meaning it is possible for people who are under age 40 but who are discriminated against because of their ages to file claims. Like the federal law, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act covers workers who are 40 or older, however.

Potential damages

There are several types of damages that may be available to workers who are successful in their age discrimination claims, but they differ depending on whether you sue under state or federal law. Under both federal and state law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you are able to recover the pay that you lost because of the age discrimination against you. If you are able to prove that you were laid off because of your age, you will be able to recover back pay up until your trial as well as the front pay that you will continue to lose. You may also be able to recover the value of any fringe benefits that you lost or any that you would have received if you had not been discriminated against.

You cannot recover damages for emotional distress under the ADEA, but damages for emotional pain and suffering are recoverable under the state anti-discrimination laws of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To prove that you suffered emotional distress, you may need to have an expert evaluate you and then testify about your injuries at trial. It will be up to the jury to determine what amount to award you for the emotional distress that you suffered.

Punitive damages are not available under the ADEA or in Pennsylvania, but they may be available to you if you sue in New Jersey under the Law Against Discrimination. Your attorney at Swartz Swidler may advise you about the most appropriate jurisdiction for your claim. You may also be able to recover your attorney’s fees under federal and state law. To learn more about your rights and the damages that may be available to you, schedule an appointment with the experienced employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler.