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New Jersey Court Invalidates Regulation Defining ‘Simple Misconduct’ Under Unemployment Law

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, recently invalidated a regulation of the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act (UCA) that attempted to define, for the first time in codified form, the concept of “simple misconduct” by an employee that can limit his or her eligibility for unemployment benefits under the UCA.

New Jersey Senate Approves Legislation Extending Unemployment Benefits to Striking Workers

Under current New Jersey law, most individuals who are unemployed due to a stoppage of work are disqualified from unemployment benefits. While the New Jersey Supreme Court held that strikers are entitled to unemployment benefits as long as the stoppage of work does not result in a 20 percent or greater reduction in the employer’s output of goods or services, that framework still left many strikers ineligible for benefits.

New Jersey Bill Expanding Prohibition on Discrimination Against Unemployed Advances In State Legislature

Executive Summary: A bill which would expand existing laws to prohibit discrimination against the unemployed is progressing in the New Jersey state legislature, having been approved by the Senate and reported favorably out of the Assembly Labor Committee as amended. Existing law makes it unlawful to state in a job posting that current employment is required for hire. The bill would expand this law to expressly prohibit discrimination against the unemployed in decisions related to hiring, compensation, and terms, conditions or privileges of employment, but would not create a private right of action for aggrieved applicants.

Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates Reduced for 2012 and 2013

On June 29, 2011, Governor Chris Christie signed into a law a bill (A3819) that will reduce the unemployment insurance tax rates on employers during fiscal years 2012 and 2013. According to the Assembly Majority Office, “[e]mployer tax liability will be cut from $300 per worker to $100 per employee on average, generating a savings of $450 million for New Jersey businesses.” The law also changes the requirements regarding notification to employers when benefit payments are made and charged to their employer account. Previously, the law required the Department of Labor to send or furnish copies of certain records regarding benefit payments charged to their employer account. The new law changes this requirement to permit the Department to use technology to reduce costs associated with mailing paper notifications.

Striking Nurses Entitled to Unemployment Benefits.

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently upheld the decision to award unemployment compensation benefits to 240 striking nurses, concluding there was no “stoppage of work” where the hospital continued to operate at full service.

Unemployment Benefits Awarded Where Employer-Initiated Change to Work Schedule Interfered With Employee’s Established Child Care Arrangements.

In this matter, the court held that an employer’s unilateral change in an employee’s work schedule constituted good cause for claimant to resign, and would not preclude receipt of unemployment benefits, where the schedule change prevented the employee from picking up her daughter from daycare by the closing time.

Amendment to "Work Stoppage" Disqualification Under Employment Laws Requires Board of Review To Make Factual Finding Regarding Reason For Cessation Of Work.

A recent amendment to N.J.S.A. 43:21-5(d) created an exception to the well known “work stoppage” disqualification from unemployment benefits where the employer prevents an individual from working.

Agreement Reached Between New Jersey And United States Department Of Labor To Provide Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefits.

On June 30, 2008, the State of New Jersey and the United States Department of Labor reached an agreement to provide federally-funded Extended Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for up to 13 additional weeks. Individuals who filed claims dated May 7, 2006 or later, who exhausted their regular state unemployment insurance benefits, and who are still unemployed and looking for work may be eligible for these extended benefits. Such individuals will be notified by mail at their address of record and will be able to file for benefits by completing and mailing the application that will be enclosed with the notice.

Employee Entitled To Unemployment Benefits When His Employer Caused His Transportation Issues.

In a rare unemployment benefits case to reach the New Jersey Supreme Court, the Court held that an employee who resigned due to lack of transportation was entitled to unemployment benefits where the transportation problems were caused by the employer’s work schedule changes.
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