Earlier this year, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Roa v. LAFE that employers may be liable for retaliatory conduct that takes place after the employment relationship has come to an end. New Jersey's highest court also ruled in Roa--which was hailed as a partial victory for employers--that a timely claim for post-discharge retaliatory conduct does not revive a time-barred retaliation claim based on a discrete discriminatory act, such as termination.
The plaintiffs in Roa, a married couple working for the same employer, were terminated in 2003 after Mr. Roa allegedly complained about a supervisor's conduct. (Mrs. Roa was terminated in August and Mr. Roa in October.) Around Nov. 11 2003, the plaintiffs learned their insurance company had denied coverage for a surgical procedure performed on Mrs. Roa just before the company terminated Mr. Roa. On Nov. 3, 2005, plaintiffs sued their employer for retaliation under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination (LAD), alleging retaliatory discharge. In opposition to a motion dismiss, plaintiffs alleged post-discharge retaliatory conduct.