In late June, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, revived a wrongful termination suit alleging discrimination based upon marital status arising out of the plaintiff’s divorce with another employee after it was revealed he had an extramarital affair with yet another employee, both of whom the plaintiff had supervised.

The plaintiff’s employer had allegedly told him that he was being terminated because he would soon be going through an “ugly divorce.” The lower court found that the NJ Law Against Discrimination does not protect employees for employment decisions that are not based on one being “married” or “unmarried.” Therefore, the process of divorce, and a large swath of employees, were not protected, found the appeals court on review.

The appellate court found that the employee had been terminated because of stereotypes about divorcing persons – that they are “antagonistic,” “uncooperative with each other,” and “incapable of being civil or professional in each other’s company.”