On October 2, 2015 Stephen McHugh received a defense verdict in a jury trial held before the Honorable Louis R. Meloni in the Camden County Superior Court. Mr. McHugh successfully defended a regional business that specializes in preparing high school students for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), college entrance exams, and in tutoring students. Plaintiff claimed she was wrongfully discharged from her job due to her national heritage, in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
Plaintiff began working in the business office in October 2012 as an “at will” employee. She claimed that her job was terminated during a private meeting with her supervisor who made discriminatory comments. Plaintiff left the office after the meeting and returned the next day to get her last pay check. She claimed that the same supervisor made discriminatory comments in front of witnesses when she was waiting for her pay check.
The defendant hired another employee in the same office for a different job than plaintiff’s. Plaintiff claimed that the new hire was not a member of her protected class and was meant to replace her as an elaborate pretext for discrimination.
Plaintiff sued both the business and its owner for violating the NJLAD, claiming that the business was the corporate alter ego of its owner. The plaintiff’s complaint sought compensatory damages for lost earnings and emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
The defendant argued that plaintiff was not fired but left the job voluntarily. The defendant also argued that none of its actions were motivated by discrimination.
The claim against the business owner was dismissed prior to trial when Judge Meloni granted summary judgment in his favor , finding that there was not adequate proof that the business was its owner’s alter ego. At trial, the jury found that the plaintiff was fired from her job but that her firing was not motivated by discrimination and a verdict was entered in favor of the defendant.
For further information about the case please contact Steve McHugh at firstname.lastname@example.org