Last week, in Savage v. Township of Neptune, the Appellate Division ruled that a 2019 amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) does not prohibit parties from entering into non-disparagement clauses.
The Appellate Division’s opinion involved Christine Savage, a Sergeant for the Township of Neptune Police Department. Sgt. Savage brought an employment discrimination case against Neptune, Police Director Michael J. Bascom, Police Chief James M. Hunt, in which she alleged they engaged in sexual discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the LAD, the New Jersey Civil Rights Act (“NJCRA”), and the free speech provision of the New Jersey Constitution.
Sgt. Savage eventually settled her case. The settlement agreement included a mutual non-disparagement provision which prevented the parties from making any statements “regarding the past behavior of the parties, which statements would tend to disparage or impugn the reputation of any party.”