New Jersey Employment & Labor Lawyer

construction worker group huddle

Employment law and labor law issues are complicated. These areas of the law are highly regulated by federal and state statutes. If you have union or employment related legal matters, it is critical to hire an attorney with experience in this specialized area of the law.

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, our New Jersey labor and employment attorneys have been representing workers and labor unions, such as the Teamsters, Communications Workers of America, and Building Trades, including plumbers, pipefitters, and electricians, for nearly a century. In fact, this area of the law has always been a particular focus of the law firm. We have helped many labor unions, union members, civil service employees, and ordinary working people on all union and employment legal matters, such as contract negotiation, employment and severance agreements, workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, medical and family leave, arbitration, Taft-Hartley Benefit Fund consultation, NLRB and PERC hearings, disciplinary board hearings, and regulatory compliance.

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We are ready to do the same for you. Not only do we have extensive knowledge and experience with both state and federal employment & labor laws, but we’ve helped shape this area of the law by taking and winning cases that have cemented and expanded workers’ rights. Our New Jersey labor and employment attorneys have won thousands of significant contract negotiations, arbitrations, unfair labor practice hearings, claim settlements, trial verdicts and landmark cases handled by our lawyers in State and Federal trial and appellate courts.

If you are dealing with an employment or labor-related legal matter, you need someone on your team who is an expert in this area of the law and knows how to win. Contact Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman today to find out how our labor and employment team can help. You can rest assured the free consultation is entirely confidential.

What Our New Jersey Employment & Labor Lawyers Can Do for You

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Our attorneys thoroughly understand federal and New Jersey state employment & labor law, even for the most complex cases involving multiple layers of relationships, complicated contracts, collective bargaining agreements and claims, and unique legal issues.

We are well known for (1) our long history of labor union and benefit fund representation. Benefit funds, also known as Taft Hartley Benefit Funds, are the pension, annuity and welfare funds that provide the retirement and health benefits for union members and their families; (2) representation of workers in complex employment litigation and (3) employment contract and severance negotiation. Our lawyers work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients, preferably through negotiation but, when necessary, through litigation.

We have won thousands of cases over the years and many of those matters have shaped case law and expanded workers’ rights. Our reputation and successes are why four out of every five of our clients are recommended by friends, family members, coworkers, union members, and even other lawyers.

employment law

Our attorneys understand and will explain to you the distinctions under the law between the at-will employee, the contract employee, and the member of a collective bargaining unit, and the impact the categorization has on the legal rules and standards that apply to each. We have experience and expertise in representing workers from all three categories.

Many workers in New Jersey are not fully aware of their rights and protections under state and federal employment laws, which means that one of our most important jobs is to educate our clients. We can review your case thoroughly and explain your options, so you can make an informed decision about what to do next.

Another important job of our attorneys is to level the power disparity in disputes between employees and employers. Workers may feel pressure from management to keep any complaints to themselves. Workers may face termination or reassignment if they try to assert their rights. But workers in New Jersey have numerous legal protections, including protection from retaliation. Our NJ employment & labor attorneys can help you fight back against illegal activity on the part of your boss or employer.


Unions Represented


Union Members On PRA Legal Service Plans


Attorney Average Years in Practice

We have been representing members of public and private labor unions for almost a century, including state and county workers construction workers, service employees and factory workers. 


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Labor Union & Benefit Fund Representation

collective bargaining agreement

The core focus of the Labor and Employment section of our firm is on labor unions and their members, and Taft Hartley Benefit Funds and their participants.

Organized labor is a vital part of the New Jersey workforce, and unions are instrumental in protecting workers’ rights and safety. That’s why we are proud of our century long association with labor unions. We currently represent numerous unions and benefit funds throughout the state. Our law firm’s union clients include building trade unions, such as electricians and plumbers. Our public unions include Communications Workers of America, which represents state, county, and municipal employees. We also regularly handle a wide range of issues related to union Pension, Annuity, and Welfare Funds.

We also represent hard working employees who are members of public and private labor unions. Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman has chosen to participate in legal service plans that provide benefits to union members and their immediate family members in a variety of legal practice areas. Union members have rights clearly spelled out in their collective bargaining agreements, yet employers frequently violate these rights. If your employer is not upholding the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, we can help you enforce the agreed-upon terms.

employment contract

Since 1929, Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman attorneys have represented New Jersey labor unions, benefit funds, union members, and civil service employees on all employment-related legal matters, such as:

  • Contract negotiations
  • Arbitration
  • Taft-Hartley Benefit Funds consultations
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearings and elections
  • Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) hearings and elections
  • Disciplinary Board hearings
  • Collection work for benefit funds
  • Landrum-Griffin Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other regulatory authority compliance

Our labor and employment attorneys make frequent appearances before federal and state administrative and regulatory agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, and the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights. When not in the courtroom or at the negotiating table, our lawyers conduct seminars and training for employers and unions, including at Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

Types of Employment Law Matters We Handle

Many different kinds of disputes between workers and employers fall under the umbrella of employment law. At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we’ve handled a wide range of cases involving:

Employment & Severance Agreements

Employment contracts and severance agreements are a common source of disputes in the workplace Our New Jersey employment lawyers have negotiated and litigated thousands of employment contract issues, and we are frequently engaged to review and negotiate severance packages

Workplace Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is illegal and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Unfortunately, too many workers are mistreated due to their race, gender, sex, or other protected characteristics. Our New Jersey employment attorneys are knowledgeable about all state and federal anti-discrimination laws and can work with you to expose discriminatory practices at your workplace and demand justice.

Wrongful Termination

Employees in New Jersey are protected by law from being wrongfully terminated. For example, it is illegal to fire someone based on sex, race, or certain other characteristics. It is also against the law to retaliate against employees who raise workplace safety concerns or fire workers in violation of their employment contracts.

Employee Benefits & ERISA

Benefits like healthcare, life insurance, and retirement plans can be just as important as wages. These benefits can be costly for employers, though. Some businesses try to save themselves money by denying workers the benefits they have been promised. We have helped thousands of workers recover millions of dollars in claim settlements involving ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, Social Security, Medicare, and other regulatory violations.

Whistleblower Protections

Workers who uncover a safety issue at work or witness illegal activity by the company are protected by state and federal whistleblower laws. Without these laws, workers have little incentive to report wrongdoing in the workplace. However, employers often find ways to retaliate against an employee who raises a safety issue or attempts to warn a supervisor of illegal activity. If you have been retaliated against after reporting a safety issue or unlawful activity at your company, contact an employment lawyer right away. A whistleblower protection attorney can help you fight back against your employer while also ensuring the proper authorities hear whatever complaints you raise.

Constructive Discharge

Many employers know that firing an employee for discriminatory or other illegal reasons can get them in trouble, so they use other means to get the employee to leave the company. Deliberately making an employee’s job so miserable that the employee is essentially forced to quit is known as constructive discharge. Constructive discharge cases can be challenging to prove, but an experienced NJ employment lawyer can help determine whether you will be able to prove that claim, and if so, documenting the facts and then pursuing fair compensation for the harm you suffered.

Labor Law Violations

Employers must comply with labor laws, both at the state and federal levels. These laws govern minimum wages and overtime pay, employee benefits, severance agreements, and even what constitutes an employee. While most employers strive to follow these laws, others will bend or break the rules to pad their profits. If you believe that your employer has broken labor laws, consult one of our attorneys.

Medical and Family Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to offer workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family events and medical conditions. What’s more, this unpaid leave must be provided without jeopardizing the employee’s job. Family events that fall under the FMLA include pregnancy complications, caring for a newborn baby, and situations related to adopting a child or placing a child in foster care. Employees can also qualify for leave under the FMLA if they have a serious medical condition or must care for an immediate family member with a serious illness. Sadly, employers frequently deny workers leave under the FMLA or terminate workers whose jobs should have been safe. If you have been unfairly denied leave under the FMLA or lost your job after requesting leave, talk to an NJ employment lawyer right away.

What Is the Process for Bringing an Employment Law Case in New Jersey?

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The process for bringing legal action against an employer in New Jersey depends on the nature of the allegations you’re making against them. Cases involving breaches of employment contracts, wrongful termination, and related matters are typically handled in civil court. If you are filing a discrimination claim against an employer, you can take your case to the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Step 1

Before you do so, though, it is a good idea to talk to a New Jersey employment lawyer. An attorney can review your case, determine the best strategy, gather evidence to support your claim, and file any necessary paperwork to begin your claim.

Step 2

At this point, your attorney will help you determine whether to enter negotiations for a pre-litigation settlement or to move straight to filing suit. If you and your lawyer opt to file a lawsuit, your employer has 35 days to respond, a period known as the pleading stage. That allows both parties to make their basic claims to the court.

Step 3

After the pleadings stage is the discovery phase, during which both parties assemble their evidence and share it with one another, allowing them to build their arguments with the same set of information. The case may be settled or dismissed at this point. If it is not, and both parties agree about the facts of the case, one may request a motion for summary judgment, in which case the court decides all or parts of the lawsuit without it advancing to trial. If there is no motion for summary judgment, the case goes to trial, at which point both sides make their arguments about the facts of the case before the court, which will then render a judgment. The length of this process varies depending on a wide range of factors.

Step 4

However, it’s essential to understand that most lawsuits are settled long before trial. The stronger your case, the quicker it will be resolved, and the greater your financial recovery is likely to be. Settlement can be negotiated during any of the above phases.

Will My Boss Find Out If I Talk to a Lawyer About My Case?

Any discussions with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege, which means they are confidential. However, if your boss does find out you have talked to a lawyer, do not panic. Whistleblower and anti-retaliation laws, as well as other regulations, prohibit employers from taking punitive action against an employee who makes a complaint or files a lawsuit. If your boss finds out you have talked to a lawyer, let your attorney know right away.

How Long Do I Have to File an Employment Law Case?

Depending on the specifics of your employment law case, the amount of time you have to take legal action can range from a few months to a few years. The deadlines to file some common types of employment law cases are:

  • Claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination – 2 years for most cases.
  • Claims under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act – 1 year
  • Breach of employment contract claims – 6 years
  • Claims under the New Jersey Family Leave Act – time depends on the specifics of your case
  • Claims under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act – 2 years
  • Claims related to wrongful termination in violation of public policy – 2 years
  • Claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act – time depends on the specifics of your case

Types of Potential Compensation in Employment Disputes

Depending on your case, you could potentially recover compensation for:

Back pay

Back pay refers to earned wages an employee should have already received but was denied due to an employer’s unlawful conduct. Back pay is common in cases involving unlawful termination and discrimination.

Front pay

In cases where an employee or former employee will continue to lose wages or other benefits after legal action has concluded, the employee or former employee could receive compensation for these future losses. This type of compensation is referred to as front pay.

Compensation for emotional distress

Being subjected to discrimination, bullying, harassment, or other mistreatment at work can take a significant psychological toll. That can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. As part of an employment law claim, you may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress related to your claim.

Compensation for physical distress

Mistreatment at your job can also affect your physical health. You may be entitled to compensation for physical ailments you have suffered related to your employment law claim.

Punitive damages

In some limited circumstances, a judge or jury may award you additional compensation to punish an employer or other bad actor for their intentional misconduct. This compensation is not based on any loss you have suffered and can generally be awarded only at trial.

Attorney’s fees

If you win your case, in certain circumstances, you may be able to have your employer pay your attorney’s fees for you.

Forced reinstatement or promotion

In certain cases, an employer may be ordered to hire or rehire you once the lawsuit is over. An employer can also be ordered to promote you if you were denied a promotion due to wrongful conduct of your employer.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You Prove Your Case

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Your case can be supported by gathering evidence, including:

  • Your employment records
  • Work-related emails and other communications
  • Your employer’s employee handbook and other policies
  • Your employment contract
  • Testimony from other coworkers
  • Photos and videos showing illegal or unethical conduct
  • Any prior legal actions that were taken against your employer

When you contact us for a free and confidential consultation, you can expect that our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers will:

  • Meet with you in person or on Zoom
  • Review all the pertinent documents in your case
  • Discuss fee structure alternatives, including the applicability of a fee-shifting statute
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your matter
  • Review the potential for settlement and alternative dispute resolution
  • Analyze the potential risks and rewards of litigation
  • Outline our experience in the area and the results we’ve obtained in similar matters
  • Discuss the cost-effective approach and methods we offer to ensure efficient use of legal resources, including an opinion letter, where appropriate, to help you decide and evaluate potential risks and rewards

Immigration Status and Its Effect on Employment Law Matters

employment contract

State and federal labor laws prevent employers from retaliating against workers who file complaints against them, regardless of that worker’s immigration status. In other words, your employer cannot threaten you or report you to immigration authorities if you file a lawsuit against them. Your employer may still try to retaliate against you, though, so talk to a lawyer if you are concerned about how your immigration status may affect your case.


Get Help from a New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Attorney

You have the right to work in a safe environment and earn fair wages for your work. If your rights as a New Jersey employee or union member are being violated, contact the labor and employment law attorneys at Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman today. Going to court is hardball. If you want results, then be well-represented.

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