The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination:


What can a New Jersey employer do about a Human Resources Manager who steals and discloses confidential personnel information in order to bolster her discrimination lawsuit?

Nothing, according to the New Jersey Supreme Court in its recent and highly nuanced opinion in Quinlan v. Curtiss Wright Corporation. While theft of documents is, of course, a legitimate ground for termination, if a jury finds an employee was fired for use of the stolen documents in litigation, as opposed to theft, the employer could be liable for unlawful retaliation under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Quinlan is particularly troubling for employers in that theft and disregard for the rules of discovery may be rewarded and leave an employer with its hands tied.

In Quinlan, an Executive Director of Human Resources filed a complaint alleging gender discrimination after the employer promoted a seemingly less-qualified male to be her supervisor. To bolster her case, the plaintiff systematically reviewed and stole more than 1,800 pages of confidential personnel and human resources documents with which she was entrusted. Most of the stolen information came from the personnel files of other employees. The Plaintiff shared the documents with her lawyer.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.