WESTFIELD, NJ — Employment Lawyer Fred Shahrooz Scampato has had the distinguished honor of being selected recently for the third year in a row to be listed in Super Lawyers Magazine. To his clients, he’s a true hero.
“I like taking down the bullies,” he said simply. “Winning against them feels great, but it’s more about returning the client back to a place where they can go on with their life, so the focus is on the client — to help them heal. It’s not about exuberant moments. It’s relief that they can end this chapter and start anew.”
Specifically, there are three types of cases of which he’s most proud:
Retaliation: Shahrooz Scampato recently pursued a case in which a truck driver was fired because he found out his company was violating Department of Transportation safety regulations regarding hazardous fuel and liquids.
“He was fired as soon as he made the complaint to his employer,” Shahrooz Scampato said.
Harassment: In one recent case, “A woman was sexually harassed by her boss. She suffered great, serious emotional distress as a result,” Shahrooz Scampato said, “especially after he started retaliating against her for not submitting to his sexual cravings.”
Discrimination: “A man was fired because of his age. That constitutes age discrimination,” Shahrooz Scampato said. In this case, his boss said to him, "I hate to tell you but you are too old for this kind of work."
Shahrooz Scampato’s work is fueled by the belief that everyone ought to treat each other with respect. His passion has its roots in his own life experiences.
Between 1977 and 1979, Shahrooz Scampato lived in Tehran, Iran, while his father worked for an AT&T subsidiary. There, he learned what it was like to live as a minority. Later, he personally felt the sting of discrimination in the workplace.
“Before law school, I was subject to reverse gender discrimination. I was an assistant manager in a large retail store,” Shahrooz Scampato explained. “My supervisor, who was third in command of the store, would tell me, ‘I don’t know why you’re interested in this industry. This is an industry for a woman. No self-respecting man would have the job that you have.”
Shahrooz Scampato didn’t do anything at the time. He was young and saving up for school, he said.
“But it bothered me and I got a taste of what it’s like to be prejudiced against because of your gender,” he said. “So that was one of the motivating factors for going into employment law.”
In addition to helping employees, Shahrooz Scampato has considerable experience working with employers at small- and medium-sized businesses to educate them about employment law. He drafts handbooks and policies for companies and conducts seminars on such topics as sexual harassment on their behalf, too.
Shahrooz Scampato currently has a dozen small business clients that contact him when they need to take action against an employee, with disciplinary issues or when employees come to them to request investigations for workplace issues.
“I guide them and, the vast majority of times, I’m able to keep them out of court by resolving the situation in a way that’s fair to both sides and defuses emotional drama that goes along with a lot of employer-employee disputes,” he said.
This is especially important for long-standing employees, he said. Rather than pit the two sides against each other, he looks for a way to reach the best possible outcome for all.
“The objective is usually to try to effectuate an amicable separation, being careful to be sensitive to their needs and balance that against the needs of my clients.”
For more information about Fred Shahrooz Scampato and to schedule a consultation, visit http://www.njlaborlaw.com/ or call 908-301-9095.