1. My employer is obligated to come up with a good reason before they can fire me.
WRONG – If you are an at-will employee, the vast majority of the time, your employer will not need a reason to fire you. Nor is your employer obligated to let you know what that reason is.
2. If I can refute the employer’s reason for terminating me, I am entitled under the law to get my job back.
WRONG – If you are an at-will employee, even if you can prove that your employer’s reason for firing you is wrong, most of the time, the law does not give you the right to go into court to get your job back.
3. I can sue my employer for harassment because my supervisor, who doesn’t like me, screams and yells at me.
WRONG – Harassment is only illegal if it is based on your membership in a protected class.In other words, the harassment has to be because of your sex, race, age, disability or some other recognized protected class.
4. My employer can deduct money from my pay checks for things that are my fault like having a shortage in a cash register or causing damage to company property.
WRONG – It is a violation of Wage and Hour law for your employer to deduct your paycheck because of breakage or shortage.
5. An employer is required to pay me my unused vacation time.
WRONG – You can only raise a claim for unused vacation time if your employer has so promised to pay you any unused vacation time in your employee handbook or other company policy.
6. If I sign for and receive a severance package, I can still sue the company for discrimination later.
WRONG – Severance packages almost always include a release of rights, which has the effect of terminating your ability to sue your employer for discrimination or harassment.
7. I haven’t been paid in three weeks, but I don’t want to do anything because I am afraid that they will fire me if I complain.
WRONG – In NJ it is a violation of Wage and Hour law for your employer not to pay you at least twice a month. An employer must pay wages within ten (10) days of the end of the pay period in which the wages were earned.
8. I had an injury at work and have to go out on a leave. I can’t use FMLA because it was a workplace injury so I have to go through workers compensation.
WRONG – Your employer is obliged to inform you about any FMLA leave that you are eligible for.Just because it is also a worker’s compensation situation does not mean that you aren’t also entitled to FMLA leave protection.
9. I am being sexually harassed at work, but I can’t prove it because my sexual harasser only harasses me when no witnesses are around.
WRONG – In some circumstances in NJ it is permissible for you to make an audio recording of your harasser which may be admissible in court.You are encouraged to first consult with an experienced employment law attorney before you attempt to record a conversation at work.
10. If I am sexually harassed I can immediately hire an attorney to sue my company in court.
WRONG - In most situations in NJ you are required to utilize an employer’s internal anti-harassment/discrimination complaint procedure before you can file a lawsuit in court.
11. I am entitled to get a lunch and break time from my employer.
WRONG – NJ law does not require lunch or break times (unless you are a minor or a nursing mother).