Eight former employees of a Jersey City school are planning to sue the district over alleged discrimination. The group lost their jobs back in June at a board meeting, and six of them are suing for five million dollars apiece. A notice was sent to the district last month, informing them that the lawsuit had been initiated.
Out of the eight former employees, seven are non-white; five of them are black females. The notice of claim states that the employees were fired without being given due process or notice. It also said that the employees had no recourse, were not give a chance to speak, and that their at-work performances had not been assessed.
They are suing for wrongful termination, breach of contract, and mental distress, with damages to potentially include lost income, as well as pain and suffering.
The Board Meeting
At past board meetings, certain employees had kept their jobs without a yearly renewal by the board. Incidences of the teacher’s union president angrily losing his temper and loud fighting at previous meetings were also reported.
At the June 29 meeting, there were 18 employee contracts that were up for renewal. After the votes were in, not all of the contracts had been renewed, including the district’s human resources director and lead attorney. All of the non-renewing votes were split.
The Board of Education President commented that the fired officials had been receiving high pay, but were not properly certified. Although he would not comment directly on the lawsuit, he wrote in a press release that the money would be better used to educate the students of the Jersey City classrooms.
The potential Jersey City lawsuit is not the first of its kind. In 2016, four black teachers in Florida sued their school board for discrimination. They alleged that the board repeatedly would not hire black applicants for administrative positions. They also sought compensation and damages.
Another case from June 2018 started in Long Island, New York when a facilities director sued the school district, school officials, and board of education. The director claimed that he was discriminated against because he was white. He claimed that he was verbally attacked, denied the permission to perform his job to the best of his ability, and was asked to do personal favors for school officials.
He also described repeated occurrences of financial misconduct and bullying tactics by district officials.
Filing Discrimination Complaints
All educational institutions are responsible for protecting their employees from unlawful discrimination based on their color, their race, and their national origin, according to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
New Jersey has some of the best employee protections in the country. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) offers stronger coverage to all of the groups covered by the Civil Rights Act, but additionally addresses LGBTQ and Equal Pay. Further, a neutral employment policy or practice could be deemed unlawful if said policy or practice has a negative impact on the protected groups.
Although anyone has the right to file a complaint, it must be done within 180 days after the act occurred. Complaints in New Jersey should be filed with the Division on Civil Rights (DCR), as part of the NJLAD.
Middletown Employment Discrimination Lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Assist Victims of Workplace Discrimination
There is no reason for workplace discrimination, especially at educational institutions. If you have been unlawfully discriminated against at work, contact a Middletown employment discrimination lawyer by calling our Red Bank office at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, our Newark office at 973-878-9040, or by contacting us at 888-396-0736 or online. We represent clients throughout New Jersey.