NJ Appellate Division Upholds Employment Application Truncating Statute of Limitations

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On June 19, 2014, in Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co., 436 N.J. Super. 305 (App. Div. 2014), the New Jersey Appellate Division held that a contractual provision contained in an employment application that shortens the statute of limitations applicable to claims against the employer is enforceable.

In the case, plaintiff Sergio Rodriguez applied for a position at Raymours Furniture Co., a retail furniture company.  On the application form, immediately above the signature line, there was bold-faced, large print, capitalized language indicating that the applicant was waiving the statute of limitations applicable to claims or lawsuits against the company and, instead, would be required to file any claim within six months of the date of the action.  The plaintiff was hired and, several years later, was laid off during a company-wide reduction in force (“RIF”).

The plaintiff initiated a lawsuit against Raymours nine months after the RIF.  The trial court granted Raymours’ motion for summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff filed his lawsuit outside of the contractual time period of six months.  The Appellate Division affirmed.  The panel found that the language was clear in its terms, was conspicuously placed on the application, was reasonable, and was not contrary to any public policy.

In light of this opinion, employers may want to consider including a statute of limitations waiver in their employment applications.  For assistance in drafting this language or other employment policies, please contact Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys.