If Alan Schorr had his way, he’d put up a large billboard on the New Jersey Turnpike that reads “Don’t Quit Your Job!”
For the longtime attorney who specializes in employment law, it’s sage advice for those who may be experiencing harassment, discrimination or unfair treatment in the workplace.
“So often, people [in that situation] get frustrated and leave their job. When they walk out the door, they’ve left all their rights behind and have taken away our ability to negotiate a successful exit for them,” he says.
Fighting for employees’ rights is something Schorr has been passionate about since he started the law firm of Schorr & Associates back in 1993. After years of running a string of successful businesses, he became involved in what he calls a lot of “fascinating” legal issues in the world of trademark and licensing. That led to him pursuing his MBA and law degree; he initially envisioned a new career in intellectual property law, but quickly pivoted.
“I realized that my background as an employer coupled with my MBA degree made me really well-suited for representing employees in workplace disputes and I love this area of the law,” Alan says. Over the last 30 years, Alan had many high-value trial victories and is a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.
These days, Schorr is joined by his son and partner Adam, who handles unemployment cases, giving the law firm the best of both worlds when it comes to protecting employees and helping to expand their rights.
“If you don’t know how the entire system works, you can run into unexpected issues,” Adam says. “Having that expertise to avoid traps and make sure everything goes as smooth as possible is quite helpful.”
Since the firm’s inception, Alan Schorr has put his fingerprints all over the constantly evolving world of employment law, whether it’s representing clients locally, in front of the New Jersey Supreme Court or the Superior Court Appellate Division. What’s more, he’s served as a liaison to the National Employment Lawyers Association New Jersey for nearly three decades and regularly testifies before state lawmakers on bills and issues pertaining to employment law.
All told, Schorr & Associates has been a part of at least 20 groundbreaking decisions that have expanded employee rights.
“We have really been at the forefront, both by way of our successful appellate decisions and our successful lobbying at the New Jersey legislature,” Alan says.
Despite playing such a key role in these landmark decisions, Schorr & Associates remains a boutique firm concentrated on giving its clients a highly personalized level of service, unlike what you may find at a large multi-state firm that houses hundreds of attorneys.
And as a result, Schorr & Associates lawyers have become experts in helping clients navigate the many complex challenges surrounding both employment and unemployment matters. But too often they come across clients who seek out their expertise after their workplace issues have ballooned.
“The best time to call a lawyer is the first moment you realize you are having issues in the workplace,” Adam says. “A lot of people will call us and say their problems have been going on for months, maybe years; or that they just quit their job. I just wish they had called us sooner. We really can help navigate those legal issues you can run into in the workplace.”
“We urge people, if they are experiencing unfair treatment at work, call a lawyer to talk about it to see what can be done. Maybe we can help improve their work life. And if we can’t, at least we can negotiate a way out for them so they can retain their unemployment benefits and be able to have a safety net in between jobs,” adds Alan.
Now, as Schorr & Associates nears its 30th anniversary, Alan says he sees the future of the firm focused on trying to resolve matters with minimum litigation. “I like to call it collaborative employment law, where we work with employers to negotiate a fair resolution, rather than just running to court.”
All in all, as firm believers in civil rights, being able to assist people going through an extremely difficult time in their life is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job for both father and son.
“People call me and they break down crying,” says Adam. “With unemployment disputes, you are talking about people with no income coming in. In some cases, it’s the difference between having a home or being homeless, or putting food on the table. To get those calls, there’s nothing like it, and so I plan to continue to fight on the side of the employees.”
“The handshakes and hugs we get from grateful clients, that means all the world to us. We are changing people’s lives” Alan says.