NJ Discrimination Law May Be Used To CurbFree Speech, Grotta Attorney Warns

Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 01:00

"People in the workplace do not forfeit their right to be free of governmental interference simply because they go to work," according to Jed L. Marcus, a partner in the national labor and employment firm Grotta Glassman & Hoffman, P.C. in the Roseland, NJ office, writing in his article. The NJLAD, Speech Codes and New Jersey Assault on the First Amendment, recently published in the Seton Hall Legislative Journal(Vol. 28:2, 281-314).

Mr. Marcus warns, however, that recent New Jersey State Supreme Court cases hold that the state, through the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), or any other law, has the right to proscribe pure speech and punish the speaker simply because the speech is offensive.

"The danger to civil liberties in New Jersey is real," Mr. Marcus says.

Mr. Marcus, a veteran labor and employment attorney with more than 23 years of experience representing employers and litigating labor and employment issues, warns that New Jersey courts are now authorized to insinuate themselves into every labor dispute, determining what forms of labor speech to approve or punish. He says the New Jersey Supreme Court challenges the most cherished understanding of First Amendment freedoms and of the proper role of government in a free society.

"It is time for the court to reverse itself before irreparable damage is done," Mr. Marcus says.

The full text of the article is available on the Grotta Glassman website at http://www.gghlaw.com/pdfs/njladmarcus.pdf.