Let’s assume that you operate a business in New Jersey. And you get to thinking:
“What if we put a provision in our employment application, by which a job applicant waives the two-year statute of limitations applicable to most workplace claims and shortens the period for such claims to six months?”
Would that be enforceable?
Well, since we’re talking about New Jersey, which is pretty much the most employee-friendly state next to California, most experts would tell you to pour ’em a glass of whatever your drinking, because your idea is nuts.
Like spawn of Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen cray-cray.
Tell those so-called experts to check themselves before they wreck themselves, because, late last month, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division (in this opinion) said that an employment application provision shortening the statute of limitations could be binding, yo!
The Court emphasized that the provision in question was “contained in a two-page application and set forth very conspicuously in bold oversized print and capital lettering, just above the applicant’s signature line. The terminology was clear and uncomplicated. Plaintiff was put under no pressure to complete and sign the application quickly.”
And did I mention that English is the plaintiff’s second language? Wow!
This is a MONSTER VICTORY (see what I did there?) for NJ employers. A statute of limitations shortener, maybe paired with a jury trial waiver, that’s a pretty potent 1-2 punch to fend off workplace lawsuits.
Well that, and a respectful workplace, with training and such.
But, you get the idea.