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Mashel Law Files Lawsuit Against The Essex Regional Education Service Commission for Violating Their Client’s Tenure Rights and For National Origin and Disability Discrimination

Morganville, N.J. July 15, 2019 - Mashel Law filed a lawsuit today before the Essex County Superior Court alleging The Essex Regional Education Service Commission (ERESC) wrongfully terminated their client’s employment in violation of her tenure rights as an administrative/clerical employee and for discriminating against her on the basis of national origin and disability discrimination. ERESC is a public, non-profit agency that operates three special education and alternative schools serving school districts throughout northern New Jersey including those in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, and Passaic Counties. In the filed Complaint, Mashel Law alleges, among others, that ERESC and its responsible employees deprived their client (the Plaintiff) of her pre-suspension/termination and post-suspension/termination due process rights provided by the New Jersey Tenure Employee Hearing Laws (TEHL).

It is further alleged by Mashel Law that by failing to provide the Plaintiff with the pre-suspension/termination and post-suspension/termination procedural due process requirements provided by the TEHL, ERESC denied her a legally required examination and hearing on the charges made against her before the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education or a person appointed on the Commissioner’s behalf for such a purpose. In doing so, the ERESC and the other named defendants, deprived the Plaintiff, without due process, of her protectable interest in her tenured position with the ERESC, her protectable rights in her reputation and the protections afforded to her under the TEHL, in violation of state law, the New Jersey Constitution, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

The Complaint also alleges that ERESC and its responsible employees violated New Jersey’s broad and liberally construed Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, etseq. (the “LAD”) when it subjected the Plaintiff to a hostile work environment because of her Puerto Rican national origin and by failing to accommodate a work-related injury.

Another claim asserted in the Complaint is for intentional infliction of emotional harm. In this regard, the Complaint alleges that ERESC and the other named defendants committed their unlawful acts against the Plaintiff with malice, intent and/ or with reckless indifference, to her emotional well-being.

The Complaint likewise alleges the alleged unlawful actions undertaken by the ERESC and the other named defendants, has and continues to cause the Plaintiff to suffer economic losses and pecuniary damage in the form of lost income and benefits past, present and future, irremediable damage to her reputation, and non-economic damages in the form of humiliation, stress, anger, sadness, and anxiety causing her mental and emotional anguish and dysfunction, and physical manifestations of same including, but not limited to, nervousness, anxiousness, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and loss of sleep, all or some of which may be permanent. For these reasons, Mashel Law intends to ask a jury at trial to return a verdict providing their client with all statutory remedies available to her under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the LAD economic lost wage damages, emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorney fees and costs of suit.

It is expected that ERESC will file papers in court denying the claims made in this lawsuit.

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