2008 turned out to be a very good year for employment law plaintiffs who tried their cases in New Jersey courts. Indeed, as published in the New Jersey Law Journal’s “New Jersey Legal Almanac 2008,” there were six verdicts of more than $1,000,000 awarded by New Jersey juries to employment law plaintiffs, including two verdicts of more than $10,000,000. These verdicts should help make our State’s employers think twice before engaging in any type of illegal discrimination or whistleblower retaliation toward their employees in 2009 and beyond.
We should keep these large verdicts in perspective, however. Statewide, there were 120 verdicts or settlements over $1,000,000 in 2008, so the percentage of employment law plaintiffs receiving seven-figure awards is relatively low. Also keep in mind that thousands of employment law cases are resolved by verdict or settlement in New Jersey each year, so the percentage of employment cases which result in large monetary awards is actually quite small.
Nonetheless, each plaintiff’s victory in the field of employment law is a step forward in my and my colleagues’ ongoing battle to eradicate discrimination and retaliation from the workplaces of this State. I heartily congratulate the dedicated plaintiff’s employment lawyers who furthered our cause in 2008.