WHEN IS SIX MONTHS NOT ENOUGH TIME?July, 2016, Rahool Patel
On December 1, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey heard arguments in Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., where the Court will decide whether a clause in an employment application shortening the statute of limitations for a claim under the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) from two years to six months after termination of employment is enforceable. The trial court enforced the clause and dismissed the plaintiff’s suit as time-barred, which the Appellate Division affirmed.
In 2007, plaintiff Sergio Rodriguez applied for a delivery position with defendant Raymours Furniture Company, Inc. (“Raymour”). Mr. Rodriguez’s command of English was limited so he enlisted the assistance of his friend to read, translate to Spanish, and complete the employment application. The application contained a conspicuous clause in capital letters stating:
I AGREE THAT ANY CLAIM OR LAWSUIT RELATING TO MY SERVICE WITH RAYMOUR & FLANIGAN MUST BE FILED NO MORE THAN SIX (6) MONTHS AFTER THE DATE OF THE EMPLOYMENT APPLICATION THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF THE CLAIM OR LAWSUIT. I WAIVE ANY STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS TO THE CONTRARY.