Lawyer Defeats Union County Corporation in Pivotal Discrimination Case

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Sylvia I. Onyejekwe, Esq. is one of first in State of New Jersey to win a discrimination case based on Nigerian National Origin Discrimination


Justice is Blind! Fight for it!

Sylvia I. Onyejekwe, Esq. has become one of the first in the State of New Jersey to win a case based on Nigerian National Origin Discrimination. The matter of Ebuzor-Onayemi v. Our House, Inc, docket number ESX-L6451-11.

According to court documents, Ms. Onyejekwe of Onyejekwe & Associates, LLP represented Ms. Joy Ebuzor-Onayemi, who sued her former employer, OUR HOUSE, INC, a Union County based organization, for discrimination based on Nigerian national origin. Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi, a native of Nigeria, was repeatedly subjected to discrimination by her supervisors and executives with blatant and overt acts; and eventually terminated. Ms. Onyejekwe defeated the termination claim by showing that Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi's employment evaluations showed Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi had stellar evaluations for both of the years that she worked there. Additionally, before Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi was terminated, she had never received any disciplinary action against her until the day she was terminated.

According to court transcript of the trial, after her termination, OUR HOUSE, INC. alleged that Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi had committed theft and burglary against the company. Despite no evidence of a burglary or theft, Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi was indicted in Union County of theft and burglary. She was later convicted of theft and burglary in Union County.

Subsequently, and despite this conviction, Ms. Onyejekwe still decided to proceed with the discrimination case, as she believed that Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi never committed a burglary or theft and that those allegations were made up by OUR HOUSE, INC., to avoid Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi claims of National Origin discrimination.

According to court documents, OUR HOUSE counter-sued Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi for the civil component of burglary and theft. After a three week trial, an Essex County jury rejected the counter-claims filed by OUR HOUSE, INC.,as they did not believe Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi committed any crime against the company. Contrarily, the jury found that OUR HOUSE had engaged in intentional discrimination against Ms. Ebuzor-Onayemi based on her Nigerian National Origin and awarded her damages.

After the victory, Ms. Onyejekwe said, “Despite the obstacles we faced, such as limited resources versus the resources available to OUR HOUSE, INC; two law firms versus my small law firm; adverse decisions; evidence being withheld; and two convictions against my client, I continued to fight! I was confident that the evidence was overwhelmingly favorable to my client’s position so I refused to relent. I believe that the conduct of OUR HOUSE, INC was so egregious that it was imperative that their actions were exposed. It is very disheartening to see discrimination manifest itself in improper conduct. My client was a victim of this conduct and that victimization lingers until this day. However the jury verdict in this case reassures us that society, generally, does not believe this conduct is appropriate.”

Sylvia I. Onyejekwe, Esq. is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and The Ohio State University. She has been practicing for seven years in New Jersey and handles employment, personal injury, civil, and family law matters. She has great success in handling complex matters. For more information on Sylvia Onyejekwe and this case, please visit

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