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Total Articles: 148

Employers Can Expect New Problems When Recreational Marijuana Hits New Jersey

Executive Summary: A cornerstone of Governor-elect Phil Murphy’s campaign platform was the decriminalization of marijuana in New Jersey. The proposed bill most likely to become law with the new administration comes as employers are just getting comfortable with a workforce eligible for medical marijuana use. Though similar to current medical marijuana policy, the new law legalizing recreational marijuana use will affect hiring, discipline, and firing decisions in novel and important ways.

2-Year Statute of Limitations Applies to HIV Patient’s Privacy Suit

A New Jersey appeals court recently ruled that a two-year statute of limitations applies to a claim by an HIV-positive patient asserting one of his doctors improperly disclosed his medical status to a third party without consent. The three-judge Appellate Division panel rejected arguments by the doctor that the suit should be dismissed as time-barred by the one-year statute of limitations typical of defamation claims.

New Jersey Expands Protection for United States Armed Forces Members and Veterans under New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

Executive Summary: Governor Chris Christie signed into law New Jersey Senate Bill S726, expanding the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to prohibit all forms of discrimination against members of the Armed Forces and veterans. The law was signed on August 7, 2017, and took effect immediately.

New Abuse Reporting Requirements for Long-Term Care Facility Employees in New Jersey

Employees of long-term care facilities in New Jersey will soon be subject to new requirements when it comes to reporting abuse. A law recently passed by the New Jersey Legislature and signed by Governor Christie on August 7, 2017, requires these employees to contact the local police when they have “reasonable cause to suspect or believe” that an “elderly person is being or has been abused or exploited.” The law takes effect on October 6, 2017.

Will New Jersey Be Next to Jump on the (Wage History) “Ban” Wagon?

New Jersey is moving closer to enacting a law that would prohibit employers from inquiring about applicants’ salary histories. The bill, passed in the Democratic-controlled state Assembly and now the state Senate, is one of several similar bills that have passed or are being considered across the country. Governor Chris Christie now will decide whether to sign the bill into law.

New Jersey Bills to Provide Employment Protections for Medical Marijuana Patients Introduced

On January 18, 2010, the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (NJCUMMA) was signed into law. While the NJCUMMA explicitly states that it does not require employers to accommodate a qualified patient’s use of medicinal marijuana in the workplace, that could be changing soon.

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Expand Employer’s Obligations to Disclose Wage Information to Employees

On February 15, 2017, a bill that would require all public and private employers to provide their employees with additional information regarding wage calculations advanced in the New Jersey General Assembly. Under current law, employers must furnish each employee with a statement of all deductions made from the employee’s wages for each pay period in which deductions were made. If passed, Assembly Bill No. 4245 would expand upon this obligation, and would require employers to also furnish the following information:

Port Authority Not Subject to Worker-Friendly New Jersey Whistleblower Law, State Court Rules

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is not subject to suit under New Jersey’s expansive whistleblower statute, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, the New Jersey Appellate Division has held. Sullivan v. Port Auth. of N.Y. & N.J., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 33 (App. Div. Mar. 15, 2017).

New Jersey Bill Will Make Whistleblower Settlement Agreements with Public Entities Public Records

Proposed legislation that would make whistleblower settlement agreements involving public entities available to the public has been approved unanimously by the New Jersey Assembly on March 23, 2017.

Double Up: New Jersey Senate Introduces Bill to Double Benefits for Paid Family Leave

The New Jersey State Senate has introduced legislation to expand benefits under the state’s Paid Family Leave Law. The bill (S-3085) would double the benefit period from six weeks to 12 weeks and increase the amount of compensation to the employee while on leave

Arbitrator Abused Discretion, New Jersey High Court Rules, Ordering Case Reviewed by New Arbitrator

An arbitrator tasked with resolving claims brought by a New Jersey school district against a faculty member erred when he impermissibly converted one count of the complaint from unbecoming conduct to one of sexual harassment and found the school district did not present sufficient evidence to support a charge of sexual harassment, the New Jersey Supreme Court has held.

New Jersey Seeks to Become Center Of International Arbitration

Executive Summary: New Jersey has taken the first step toward becoming a global center of international arbitration by enacting the International Arbitration, Mediation, and Conciliation Act (the “Act”) on February 6, 2017. The Act provides the framework for making New Jersey an attractive destination for resolving international business and trade disputes.

New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee Advances Bill Concerning Payment of Freelance Workers

On January 19, 2017, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee advanced a bill (A-4410) that would require written contracts between “freelance workers” and their hiring entity (“client”). Those contracts would need to include (i) an itemization of all services to be provided by the freelance worker; (ii) a description of how the freelancer worker’s compensation will be calculated; and (iii) the date on which the client will pay the freelance worker or the mechanism by which that date will be calculated. The bill defines a freelance worker as any “sole proprietor who is not an employee and who is hired or retained as a freelance worker by a client to provide services in exchange for compensation in an amount equal to or greater than $600.”

Morristown, New Jersey, Issues Paid Sick Leave Employee Notice

Morristown, New Jersey, has released the “Notice of Employee Rights to Paid Sick Time” for use by employers preparing for the Morristown Paid Sick Leave Ordinance’s January 11, 2017, effective date. (For details on the Ordinance, see our article, Morristown, New Jersey, Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.)

New Jersey Minimum Wage Update, Poster Update, and Annual Reminders

As 2016 comes to a close, we remind New Jersey employers to take note of the state’s minimum wage increase, effective January 1, 2017, and to tend to some notice and poster housekeeping.

Resource Update: New Desk Reference Provides Guidance to New Jersey Employers on State Employment Laws

Employers in New Jersey must comply with a number of state laws and regulations that often impose different or more stringent requirements on employers than those imposed by federal law. Attorneys in FordHarrison's Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office have prepared the New Jersey Employment Law Desk Reference to provide guidance to employers on the various New Jersey state laws. The Desk Reference provides an overview of various state laws impacting employers, including those relating to discrimination and harassment, equal pay, wage and hour requirements, and leave and other benefits requirements. For a preview of the Desk Reference or for information on how to request a copy, visit the In Depth Analysis page of FordHarrison's Knowledge Center.

Two More New Jersey Towns Pass Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

Citing the lack of paid sick time for private-sector workers and the goals of reducing health care expenditures and promoting a healthier and more productive workforce, the towns of Morristown and Plainfield, New Jersey, recently adopted ordinances that require private employers to provide paid sick time to employees. The Morristown ordinance (O-35-2016) took effect on October 4, 2016, and the Plainfield ordinance (MC 2016-08) took effect on July 15, 2016. Thirteen New Jersey municipalities have now enacted paid sick leave requirements: Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton.

New Jersey Bill Prohibits Employers from Requiring Release of Gender Claims in Exchange for Severance

A bill in the New Jersey State Senate would bar an employer from entering into an agreement for severance payments with an employee “which results in the employee releasing any claims, or barring any potential claims in the future, that the employee may have against the employer regarding gender discrimination or harassment.” The bill, S2535, also deems any provisions in a severance agreement requiring the release of gender claims “void and unenforceable.” If enacted, the bill will affect Garden State employers and employees significantly.

New Jersey Assembly Introduces Bill To Prohibit Asking About Applicants' Compensation Histories

Recently, the New Jersey Assembly introduced a bill that would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to prohibit employers from seeking compensation information on employment candidates. Pursuant to the bill’s statement, the purpose of the bill is “to strengthen protections against employment discrimination and thereby promote equal pay for women ….” So far the only actions taken to date on the bill have been its introduction and referral to the Assembly Labor Committee.

Delay For Morristown Paid Sick Leave Law

The Morristown Town Council enacted an ordinance several weeks ago which will require private employers with employees in Morristown to provide paid sick leave. Under the language of the ordinance, the law was scheduled to go into effect on October 4, 2016. However, based on recent action from the mayor, the effective date has now been delayed until January 11, 2017.

Morristown, New Jersey, Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective 2017

Morristown, New Jersey, Mayor Timothy P. Dougherty has signed an Executive Order (No. 16-01) delaying the effective date of Morristown’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, O-35-2016, from “upon passage and publication” to January 11, 2017.

New Jersey to Terminate Reciprocal Withholding Agreement With Pennsylvania

On September 2, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave 120 days' required notice of intent to end the state's 40-year-old reciprocal income tax withholding agreement with Pennsylvania. If New Jersey follows through, the agreement will terminate at the end of 2016, affecting employers and employees in both states. New Jersey's impending action, however, is still in an early phase and the situation could change by the end of the year.

New Jersey Supreme Court Broadly Defines “Marital Status” Discrimination

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently interpreted the state’s antidiscrimination law in an expansive manner, concluding that a broad spectrum of individuals can file suit and claim that their employers unfairly discriminated against them on the basis of their marital status. Not only will plaintiffs who believe they were targeted for mistreatment on the basis of their current marriage be able to find refuge under the law, but also will those engaged, separated, divorced, widowed, or even those who have never been married.

N.J. Employers No Longer Able To Shrink Lawsuit Time Limits

The New Jersey Supreme Court just ruled that employers are not permitted to shorten the time frame that workers have to file a discrimination claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), reversing a 2014 appellate victory. The decision means that employers will want to revise their applications and other agreements to eliminate any offending language that otherwise shortens the two-year statute of limitations. However, employers may find some small measure of solace in the decision, as it may actually work to reduce the number of lawsuits filed against you (Rodriguez v. Raymours Furniture Co. Inc.).

New Jersey Legislative Update: Paid Sick Leave Bill Stalls Again, But Minimum Wage Hike Advances

New Jersey legislators have delayed a vote on the Paid Sick Leave Act to allow the Assembly and Senate a chance to settle their disputes over the bill’s impact on small employers and its preemptive effect on municipal ordinances mandating paid sick leave. These are the same issues that led to failure of the March 2016 vote in the legislature.

Jersey City Proposes Groundbreaking Minimum Workweek Ordinance

The City of Jersey City, New Jersey, recognizing that building service employees compose “a significant portion” of those who work in the City, is considering an ordinance to establish a minimum 30-hour workweek for them. The measure, launched by City Council President Rolando Lavarro, Jr., and backed by Mayor Steve Fulop, seeks to mandate that employers provide certain building services employees with at least 30 hours of work per workweek.

New Jersey Legislative Update, Part II: What’s in the Works for New Jersey Employers?

On March 14, 2016, a bill (A3471) was introduced that would require all employers in Essex, Hudson, Camden, Mercer, and Middlesex counties to pay their employees at least $20 per hour from January 1, 2017, through January 1, 2022, at which point the minimum wage would revert to the state’s current minimum wage.

New Jersey Bill Could Dramatically Change State Class Action Litigation

On March 7, 2016, a bill was introduced in the New Jersey Senate that, if enacted, would dramatically alter class action litigation in New Jersey. The bill, S1845, would permit litigants to immediately appeal to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court judicial determinations as to the certification or decertification of a class of plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit. Such interlocutory appeals would be allowed as a matter of right. Under the existing system, a litigant who wishes to challenge a class certification determination must file a motion for leave to file an interlocutory appeal, which is rarely granted.

Recently Enacted New Jersey Laws Affecting Employers

In January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law two new bills about which New Jersey employers should be aware. One creates an optional state retirement plan marketplace for small businesses, while the other directs the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to create an online information portal to create a webpage dedicated to providing information about family leave rights and benefits.

New Jersey Legislative Update—What’s in the Works for New Jersey Employers

Since the beginning of 2016, the New Jersey Legislature has been busy introducing bills that would impose new requirements on New Jersey employers and employees. Those new bills are described below.

New Jersey Court Finds Employer Improperly Required Employee to Submit to Fitness-for-Duty Exam

The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division recently held, in a case of first impression, that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) permits a New Jersey employer to require an employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty examination in limited circumstances. Quoting an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Enforcement Guidance, the court found that fitness-for-duty examinations are permissible only when an employer “has a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.” In the Matter of Paul Williams, Township of Lakewood, No. A-0341-15T2 (January 25, 2016)

New Brunswick New Jersey’s Paid Sick & Safe Leave Law Goes Into Effect

On December 17, 2015, the City of New Brunswick passed its own paid sick leave ordinance, making it the eleventh municipality in the State of New Jersey to require paid sick leave. The ordinance becomes effective on January 6, 2016, but employees must wait until May 5, 2016 (or 120 days after they started work, if hired after January 6) to start using their accrued paid leave.

New Jersey Veterans May Soon Be Entitled to Preferential Hiring in Non-Civil Service Jurisdictions

On December 3, 2015, Senate Bill 2145 was approved, 62-0, by the New Jersey Assembly. (The bill had already been passed by the New Jersey Senate in May.) If signed into law, the bill would authorize counties and municipalities whose hiring preferences are not subject to civil service hiring rules to give veterans preferential treatment in hiring so long as a veteran is at least as qualified as other candidates for the position.

New Jersey Supreme Court Establishes Test for Compensation Disgorgement When Employee Breaches Duty of Loyalty

The New Jersey Supreme Court has held that a court may order the disgorgement of an employee's compensation when the employee has breached his or her duty of loyalty to the employer—even if the employer has not sustained economic loss as a consequence of that breach.

Just in Time for the Holidays, New Brunswick Gives the "Gift" of Paid Sick/Safe Time

On December 17, 2015, New Brunswick, New Jersey passed a sick and safe leave ordinance that provides up to 40 hours of paid sick and safe leave to employees beginning on January 6, 2016. Although there are similarities between this ordinance and other sick leave ordinances in New Jersey, there are substantive differences as well. Consequently, employers that previously updated their time-off policies to comply with other sick leave ordinances in New Jersey will need to revisit those policies to ensure compliance.

Expanded Protections Proposed for Breastfeeding Employees in New Jersey

On November 16, 2015, a bill was introduced to extend the protections of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) to breastfeeding mothers. If enacted, New Jersey Assembly Bill 4696 would require New Jersey employers to provide a reasonable accommodation for breastfeeding mothers, including reasonable break time each day and a suitable room or other location with privacy (other than a toilet stall), in close proximity to the work area, for the employee to express breast milk. Terminating an employee from her employment because she is breastfeeding or expressing breast milk during breaks would constitute a violation under the NJLAD. Previous versions of this bill were unsuccessful in the 2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014 legislative sessions.

New Jersey Issues New Ban-the-Box Regulations

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has adopted regulations for the Opportunity to Compete Act, the state Ban-the-Box Law, clarifying many questions, including the Act’s impact on businesses with multistate operations.

Bill Proposed to Restrict New Jersey Employers’ Ability to Obtain Salary and Benefits Information from Prior Employers

On November 16, 2015, a bill was introduced that would prohibit employers from seeking, obtaining, or requiring current or prospective employees to provide information about their compensation and benefits history at their prior employer. New Jersey Assembly, No. 4709 also would prohibit employers from releasing the salary history of a current or former employee without written authorization from the employee. An employer that violates any provision of the bill would be subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,000 for the first violation and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

New Jersey Annual Notice Reminders With Deadlines Fast Approaching

New Jersey employers should be aware of two impending annual notice requirements. First, employers must distribute to each employee working in New Jersey a written copy of the Gender Equity Notice on or before December 31 each year and must obtain a signed acknowledgement from each employee in writing or by means of electronic verification. The required notices (in both English and Spanish), accompanied by sample acknowledgements, can be found on the Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.

Jersey City Expands Paid Sick Leave Ordinance to Small Businesses, Increases Penalties for Noncompliance

On October 30, 2015, the Jersey City mayor approved a change to the city’s existing paid sick leave law (Ordinance 15.145), purportedly to bring the sick leave ordinance more in line with those of other New Jersey cities that have since passed their own paid sick leave ordinances.

Elizabeth Becomes the Tenth New Jersey City to Require Paid Sick Leave

On November 3, 2015, voters in the City of Elizabeth approved a paid sick leave ordinance, making it the tenth municipality in the State of New Jersey to require paid sick leave. The ordinance, which goes into effect on March 2, 2016 (120 days after voter approval) is nearly identical to sick leave ordinances already passed in the cities of Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Irvington, Montclair, Trenton, and Bloomfield. Each of these ordinances closely tracks, but is not identical to Newark’s paid sick leave ordinance, while Jersey City's sick leave ordinance does not track Newark’s ordinance.

New Jersey Advances Bill to Ban Most Employee Credit Checks

On December 14, 2015, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee released another bill—A2298—seeking to prohibit most credit checks on employees. Essentially the same as prior bills that failed in the New Jersey legislature (including those we reported on in 2010 and in 2012), A2298 would prohibit employers from obtaining a credit report, or requiring an employee or prospective employee to consent to provide a credit report unless (a) the employer was required by law to obtain one, or (b) the employer reasonably believed that the employee had engaged in a specific activity that was financial in nature and constituted a violation of law.

New Jersey Minimum Wage Will Not Increase in 2016, But Maximum Weekly WC, UI, TDI, and FLI Benefits Rise

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued a notice to alert the public that there will be no annual adjustment to the minimum hourly wage rate for 2016. The minimum wage will remain $8.38 per hour. However, the maximum weekly benefit rates for workers’ compensation, state unemployment insurance, temporary disability, and family leave insurance will rise in 2016: workers’ compensation to $871 per week (from $855), unemployment insurance to $657 (from $646), and temporary disability and family leave insurance to $615 (from $604).

Final New Jersey Ban-the-Box Regulations Issued Today, Effective Immediately

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) published its long awaited, final “ban-the-box” regulations today, which take effect immediately. The final regulations, and the NJDOL’s comments to the regulations, clarify the following issues regarding New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act (OTCA). For a detailed discussion of the OTCA, please see our August 2014 summary.

Elizabeth, New Jersey, Ordinance Requires Private Sector Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave

Elizabeth, New Jersey, joins a growing number of municipalities in the Garden State to enact a City Ordinance mandating that all private employers in the city provide their employees with paid sick time. Ordinance No. 4617 will take effect on March 2, 2016, or at the expiration of current collective bargaining agreements for employees working under CBAs.

Changes to Paid Sick Time in New Jersey: Elizabeth Becomes 10th Municipality to Require Paid Sick Leave and Jersey City Expands its Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

On October 29, 2015, the City Council in Jersey City, New Jersey voted to broaden the scope of its paid sick leave ordinance, which was enacted in 2013. Just five days later, on November 3, 2015, voters in Elizabeth, New Jersey approved a paid sick leave law, becoming the 10th municipality in New Jersey to require private employers to provide paid sick time to their employees.1

Jersey City, New Jersey, Extends Paid Sick Leave Requirements to More Employers

The Jersey City Council has approved and adopted an ordinance amending the Jersey City sick leave law to make paid sick leave available to more workers in the second largest city in New Jersey.

New Jersey High Court Clarifies Disgorgement as Remedy for Breach of Duty of Loyalty

The absence of actual economic loss to an employer as a result of an employee’s breach of the duty of loyalty does not preclude the employer from being awarded the equitable remedy of disgorgement, a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled. Kaye v. Rosefielde, No. A-93-13 (Sept. 22, 2015).

Disagreement Between State Senate and Assembly Stalls Paid Sick Leave Bill

On June 22, 2015, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee approved S785, a bill that would provide mandatory paid sick leave to all New Jersey employees. The bill is similar to A2354, passed by the Assembly Budget Committee, in that it would require employers to provide either 40 or 72 hours of paid sick leave to employees, depending on the size of the employer. The proposed laws would allow employees to accrue such leave at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, and permit employees to use the leave for their own medical illness, preventive doctor appointments, or illness or appointments for family members (among other reasons).

Update on Local Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

In the recently decided matter of New Jersey Business and Industry Association, et al v. City of Trenton (L-467-15, April 16, 2015), the court held that Trenton’s paid sick leave ordinance applies only to employers based in Trenton, and not to employers “whose employees have to come to Trenton for . . . more than 80 hours.” Counsel for the City of Paterson also appeared on the record in that matter and stated that the Paterson ordinance likewise should only apply to businesses located in Paterson.

New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Workplace Posting Update

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) quietly issued another round of updated mandatory posters (with a revision date of 5/8/2015), which are now available on its website.

New Jersey's Conscientious "Everyone" Protection Act? State Supreme Court says "Yes"

Executive Summary: As we previously forecast and employers feared, New Jersey's Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the state's whistleblower law, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act or "CEPA." In doing so, the Court held that so-called "watchdog" employees—who monitor, advise, or report to upper management concerning corporate conduct—may invoke the whistleblower protections of CEPA based upon the same consulting, advice, and reporting performed as part of their normal job functions. In rejecting more than a dozen appellate and federal cases dating back nearly a decade, the Court's decision confirms that CEPA likely is the most far-reaching whistleblowing statute in the U.S.

Confidential Documents Potentially Safer From Employee Misappropriation Says New Jersey's Supreme Court

Executive Summary: On the heels of an appellate decision providing employees a virtual how-to manual to misuse and exploit confidential employer documents and safely provide them to a competitor, New Jersey's Supreme Court reversed course last week by suggesting that employees do not have competing rights to confidential employer documents in commercial or business disputes. State v. Saavedra (June 23, 2015), clarifies when a sweeping multi-part test should be used to determine when an employee may remove and retain confidential employer documents. That test should be limited to where the employee engages in self-help to further her prosecution of an affirmative claim against the employer brought under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination ("LAD"). This ruling should minimize the impact of Spencer Sav. Bank SLA v. McGrover (App. Div. March 5, 2015), which now arguably misapplied the same multi-part analysis to find a departing employee did not breach his duty of loyalty to his former employer after he absconded with documents asserted to be confidential and proprietary. For a more detailed discussion of this decision, please see our June 25, 2015 Alert, Appellate Decision Teaches New Jersey Employees How To Remove Confidential Documents and Trade Secrets from Employers.

New Jersey "Ban the Box" Regulations Are on the Way

On February 25, 2015, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) published draft proposed regulations to implement the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, otherwise known as the “ban the box” law. The Act, which restricts when in the hiring process an employer may obtain criminal history information from an applicant (and which is discussed in depth in our FAQs), goes into effect on March 1, 2015. The draft proposed regulations (to be formally proposed by publication in the March 16, 2015 issue of the New Jersey Register) include the following notable clarifications:

New Jersey's "Ban the Box" Law Takes Effect March 1, 2015

Executive Summary: The New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act (the "Act"), known as the "Ban the Box" law, will go into effect on March 1, 2015. The Act prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant's criminal background during the initial employment application process. Employers should ensure that their applications and hiring processes are in compliance with the Act before it takes effect next month.

New Jersey eAuthority (February 2015)

New Jersey Supreme Court Reshapes Sexual Harassment Claims; Employer Free to Monitor Employee’s Internet Browsing History, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; Expert Medical Evidence Is Required to Prove Accommodations Offered Were Not Reasonable, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; Legal Protections and Remedies for New Jersey Interns Are on the Horizon.

New Jersey's Ban the Box Law: FAQs for Employers

The New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, better known as “Ban the Box,” will go into effect in less than a month, making this a great time for employers to review their employment applications and hiring procedures to ensure that they will be in compliance with the new law. The following Frequently Asked Questions will help employers get up to speed on the law’s requirements.

NJ Employers Dealt Another Blow in Classifying Independent Contractors

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently confirmed that the “ABC” test is the one to be used by employers to determine whether someone is an independent contractor under wage and hour laws, further eroding the ability of employers to classify individuals as independent contractors. In Hargrove v. Sleepy’s LLC (No 10-cv-1138), the Third Circuit certified a question of law to the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding the appropriate test to determine independent contractor status under the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and Wage Payment Law. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held the more restrictive ABC test to determine whether someone should be classified as an independent contractor.

New Jersey Supreme Court Restricts Ability to Label Workers as Independent Contractors

Executive Summary: On January 13, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that will likely have a far reaching effect on employers by severely limiting their ability to classify workers as independent contractors. In Hargrove et. al. v. Sleepy's, LLC, the Court held that the "ABC" test, derived from the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act, governs whether a plaintiff is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim under New Jersey law.

New Jersey eAuthority (December 2014)

Still More New Jersey Workplace Poster Updates! Update to Regulations Governing the New Jersey Family Leave Act; Discussions Continue on Anti-Bullying Legislation; New Jersey Ban the Box Reminder;Arbitration Provisions Must Include Clear and Unambiguous Waiver of Claimant’s Right to Sue in Court, New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division Courts Hold.

FAQs About the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act (aka New Jersey’s “Ban the Box” Law)

New Jersey’s Opportunity to Compete Act (also known informally as the New Jersey “ban the box” law), N.J.S.A. 34:6B-11 et seq., goes into effect on March 1, 2015. The new law restricts most employers’ ability to request criminal history information from job applicants. Employers covered by the new law will need to adjust their hiring practices accordingly. Below are some frequently asked questions about the new law. These FAQs are not legal advice. Be sure to consult with legal counsel if you have any questions about the new law.

New Jersey Workplace Poster Requirements Continue to Grow

New Jersey employers may need to put “bigger bulletin board” on their holiday list this year as the number of required workplace posters continues to grow, especially with the proliferation of municipal paid sick leave laws. Several laws also have time-of-hire and annual distribution (not just posting) requirements, so employers are wise to confirm that they are up to date on all the latest requirements.

Several More New Jersey Cities Pass Paid Sick Leave Legislation

Following Newark and Jersey City’s lead, the cities of Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, and Irvington recently passed their own paid sick leave ordinances that will provide the majority of private employees working in those cities with paid sick leave. Additionally, on Election Day voters in Montclair and Trenton approved similar measures to bring paid sick leave to their cities. The Passaic ordinance becomes effective December 31, 2014; the East Orange ordinance on January 6, 2015; the Paterson and Irvington ordinances on January 7, 2015; and the Montclair and Trenton ordinances on March 4, 2015. When these laws take effect, it will bring the total number of New Jersey cities with paid sick leave ordinances to eight.

New Jersey eAuthority (July 18, 2014)

New Jersey Ban the Box Bill Revised Again, Advances to Governor Christie; New Jersey Senate Bill Would Prohibit Automatic Disqualification of Applicants Based on Criminal Record; Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against Unemployed Applicants Reaches New Jersey Governor’s Desk; New Jersey Bill Seeks to Expand Overtime and Minimum Wage Exemption to Private Summer Camp Employees; Reminder: Newark Sick Leave Ordinance Now In Effect; New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Whistleblowing RN, Confirming Narrow Reading of CEPA; Statute of Limitations Waiver in Employment Application Enforceable Against ESL Immigrant, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That the NJLAD Prohibits Discrimination Against Employees in the Process of Being Divorced; Nurse Fired for Refusing Flu Vaccine for Secular Reasons Entitled to Unemployment, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; A Private Claim Under the New Jersey Civil Rights Act Requires the Presence of State Action, New Jersey Supreme Court Holds; Employer’s Refusal to Rescind a Resignation Does Not Amount to Unlawful Retaliation, District Court of New Jersey Holds.

Newark, New Jersey Sick Leave Poster Now Available— Employers Must Act by June 21

On June 21, 2014, the Newark, New Jersey Sick Leave Ordinance (which we previously discussed in the March 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority) will become effective. Beyond the primary requirements of the ordinance (i.e., 24 to 40 hours of paid sick leave to most Newark employees, described in greater detail here), the ordinance also contains notice and posting obligations: employers must notify employees of their rights and obligations under the ordinance by (1) providing individual written notice to each employee (at commencement of employment, or as soon as possible for current employees), and (2) posting notice of such rights in a conspicuous location around the workplace.

New Jersey eAuthority (March 26, 2014)

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Signs Sick Leave Ordinance Into Law; New Jersey Legislators to Withhold Payment From State Vendors That Owe Unemployment Contributions ; New Bill Would Suspend Interest Payments on Mortgages for Employees Aggrieved by Violations of the New Jersey WARN Act; New Jersey’s Version of “Ban the Box” Bill Reintroduced to Senate; Bill Introduced to Assist Unemployed Job Applicants in New Jersey; New Jersey Bill Seeks to Increase Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees; Bill Protects Employees Impacted by Emergency Weather Conditions; Removal From Key Account and Placement on Performance Improvement Plan Not “Adverse Employment Actions,” New Jersey District Court Holds; Employer’s Handbook Disclaimer Renders Agreement to Arbitrate Unenforceable, New Jersey District Court Holds ;

Legal Alert: Newark City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance; Mayor Expected To Approve Measure

Executive Summary: Following Jersey City's lead, New Jersey's largest city is poised to enact an ordinance that would require employers to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid sick time to Newark employees.

New Jersey eAuthority (January 2014)

Various articles discussing employment law in New Jersey.

Jersey City, New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Ordinance . . . Is Newark Next?

On October 21, 2013, Jersey City enacted an ordinance (passed by its City Council on September 25) mandating all Jersey City businesses to provide sick leave to their employees. The sick leave must be paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s size. Ordinance no. 13097 takes effect on January 24, 2014 or upon the expiration of current collective bargaining agreements for those employees who are covered by such agreements.

New Jersey eAuthority (November 2013)

New Jersey Voters Raise State Minimum Wage; New Jersey Bill Seeks to Expand Protections for Pregnant Employees; New Jersey Clarifies New Hire Reporting Obligations; Jersey City, New Jersey Enacts Sick Leave Ordinance; Is Newark Next? New Law Punishes New Jersey Employers That Fail to Timely or Adequately Respond to Unemployment Agency Requests for Information; Proposed Amendment to New Jersey Prevailing Wage Law Would Severely Punish Repeat Offenders; New Jersey Bill Aims to Count Time Missed Due to a State of Emergency in Determining Eligibility for Certain Leave Benefits.

Jersey City Jumps on the Sick Leave Bandwagon

Paid sick leave laws are going viral. On the heels of New York City’s passage of a paid sick leave ordinance in June, Jersey City enacted a similar ordinance (“Ordinance”) in September. The Ordinance goes into effect January 24, 2014.

Time to Update Your New Jersey Workplace Posters!

On October 1, 2013, the “New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act” (NJ SAFE Act) becomes effective, which in addition to providing new leave rights to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, creates yet another posting requirement for New Jersey employers.

New Jersey eAuthority (September 18, 2013)

New Jersey Social Media Privacy Bill Becomes Law; New Jersey Expands Pay Equity Protections; New Jersey’s Domestic Violence Victim Leave Law Poster Now Available; New Jersey Governor Vetoes Bill to Punish Misclassification of Trucking Business Employees; New Jersey Assembly Introduces Bill to Invalidate Restrictive Covenants and Non-Disclosure Agreements for Employees; New Jersey Assembly Proposes Law to Require Employers to Provide Earned Sick Leave; Proposed Bill Seeks to Require New Jersey Employers to File Monthly, Not Quarterly, Wage Reports on Employees; New Jersey Supreme Court Takes Broad View of Protected Complaints Under NJLAD, But Narrow View Under CEPA; New Jersey District Court Holds That Stored Communications Act Protects Employee’s Private Facebook Posts, But Employer Still Free to Discharge Poster; New Jersey Casino’s Waitress Appearance Policy Not Discriminatory; New Jersey Appellate Division Holds “Watchdog Employees” Can Bring CEPA Claims; Employee’s Disclosure of Customer Information in the Face of Suspected Child Neglect Held Protected Activity Under CEPA, District of New Jersey Holds; Plaintiff Entitled to Employer’s Customers’ Addresses, District of New Jersey Holds; Reliance on Inapplicable Code of Ethics Cannot Support CEPA’s Reasonable Belief Standard, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; Effective Anti-Harassment Policy Warrants Summary Judgment on Hostile Work Environment Claim, District of New Jersey Holds; New Jersey Appellate Division Holds Aider and Abettor Liability Can Be Imposed on a Supervisor for His or Her Own Affirmative Violations of the NJLAD; Indefinite Leave is Not a Reasonable Accommodation, District of New Jersey Holds.

Legal Alert: New Jersey Enacts Domestic Violence Leave Law; Effective Nov. 1, 2013, Employers Must Provide 20 Days' Leave for Victims

Executive Summary: A bill providing protected leave to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault has been signed into law and is expected to take effect on November 1, 2013. The new law will require New Jersey employers with 25 or more employees to provide 20 days of job-protected leave to eligible employees.

Domestic Violence Victim Leave Law Enacted in New Jersey

On July 17, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed into law S2177, the “New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act,” which provides new leave rights to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and creates additional notice obligations for New Jersey employers. The Act applies to public and private employers with 25 or more employees. (Although the Act does not specify whether the employer must have 25 employees in New Jersey, we surmise that is not the case.) The Act becomes effective on October 1, 2013.

New Jersey eAuthority (March 2013)

Broad Social Media Privacy Bill Reaches New Jersey Governor’s Desk New Jersey DOL Proposes Rule to Require Unemployment Applicants to Register for Work and Engage in Other Work Search Related Activities New Jersey DOL Clarifies Overtime Exemption for Employees of Common Carriers of Passengers by Motor Bus The “New Jobs for New Jersey Act” Passes in Both the Senate and the Assembly FMLA Policy in Handbook Does Not Satisfy Individualized Notice Requirements of FMLA, New Jersey District Court Holds

New Jersey eAuthority (December 2012)

Updates in New Jersey employment law.

Calling New Jersey Employees to the Bulletin Board!

New Jersey workplace bulletin boards will have a new posting on November 21, 2012. The state passed a new law imposing posting and notice requirements on all covered employers regarding gender equality in pay, compensation, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.

Proposed NJ Law Would Impact Certain Independent Contractors

Executive Summary: On September 27, 2012, two members of the New Jersey Assembly introduced Assembly Bill 3310, which authorizes the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to investigate, mediate and prosecute claims by certain independent contractors that they were not properly paid in their transactions with businesses and non-profits. The bill imposes additional record-keeping requirements on businesses and non-profits that contract with certain independent contractors and establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations of the law. If passed, this law would create a minefield for all businesses and non-profits in New Jersey who use independent contractors and could severely hurt New Jersey sole proprietors.

New Jersey eAuthority (October 2012)

City of Newark Passes Ordinance Restricting Criminal Background Checks and Inquiries New Jersey Bill Seeks to Make Independent Contractor Relationship Onerous and Risky Social Networking Privacy Bill Close to New Jersey Governor’s Desk “NJ SAFE Act” Would Require Unpaid Leave to Victims of Sexual Assault or Domestic Violence Workplace Bullying Law Reintroduced in New Jersey Bills Proposed in New Jersey to Require Payment of Unemployment Benefits During Lengthy Appeals New Jersey Assembly Proposes “New Jersey Employer Identity Disclosure Act” New Jersey Senate Proposes “New Jobs for New Jersey Act” That Provides Tax Credits to Small Private Sector Employers New Jersey Assembly Proposes Bill to Expand the List of Permissible Wage Deductions Bill Introduced in New Jersey to Allow Alternative Workers’ Compensation Programs To Be Established Through Collective Bargaining Arbitrator’s Decision Finding Just Cause for Discharge Dooms Subsequent Statutory Claims, District of New Jersey Holds “Old Man” Comments by a Supervisor Were Sufficient to Cause Hostile Work Environment and Individual Liability, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds

New Jersey Facebook Bill Advances and Could Expose Employers to Additional Liability

New Jersey may soon join the ranks of other states that prohibit or seriously limit an employer’s right to request a current employee or applicant’s password, username, or similar information to social media websites such as Facebook. Unfortunately, the proposed New Jersey legislation as currently written will provide applicants and current employees with a potential new cause of action to assert against companies.

New Jersey eAuthority (September 2012)

New Jersey Department of Labor Proposes Amendments and New Rules Regarding Employee Leasing Companies New Jersey Bills Seek to Punish Misclassification of Trucking Industry Employees New Jersey Bill Seeks to Raise Unemployment Insurance Rate Cap Third Circuit Clarifies Standard for Final Certification of FLSA Collective Actions Employer Off The Hook for Co-Worker Harassment Claims Thanks to Its Anti-Harassment Policies, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds

New Jersey eAuthority (August 2012)

Unreviewed NJDOL Determination Not Binding in Subsequent Lawsuit, New Jersey District Court Rules Non-Probationary Employee Not Proper Comparator for Probationary Employee, Third Circuit Holds FMLA Does Not Prohibit Termination of Employee Who Abuses Leave or Engages in Misconduct During Leave, Third Circuit Holds Conditional Certification of FLSA Misclassification Claim Denied by New Jersey District Court to Putative Class of Assistant Store Managers Employer Not Required to Accommodate Bus Driver’s No Sunday Work Request, Third Circuit Holds

Legal Alert: What to Watch in New Jersey – Pending Legislation

Several bills are pending before the New Jersey legislature that, if enacted, could significantly impact New Jersey employers. This Alert highlights some of the more significant bills.

New Jersey eAuthority (July 2012)

Package of Gender Pay Parity Laws Reaches New Jersey Governor’s Desk; New Jersey Assembly Amends Applicant/Employee Social Networking Disclosure Bill; New Jersey Senate Introduces New Minimum Wage Bill; Third Circuit Establishes New Test for Joint Employer Liability Under FLSA; Employer Need Not Ask Questions When a New Hire Brings His Customer List With Him, New Jersey Supreme Court Holds; New Jersey Supreme Court Severely Limits the Laches Defense for Claims Brought Within the Statute of Limitations; Despite Willful OSHA Violation, New Jersey Supreme Court Reaffirms Exclusivity of Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Refuses to Apply Intentional Injury Exception; Termination Two Days Before Taking FMLA Leave “Unusually Suggestive,” New Jersey District Court Holds; NJLAD Lawsuit Barred Once State Agency Adopted Finding of EEOC, New Jersey Appellate Division Holds; Alcoholic Anxiety-Stricken Nurse States Termination Claim Under NJLAD, New Jersey District Court Holds; Union President Had Expectation of Privacy in Private Facebook Posting, New Jersey.

New Jersey eAuthority (June 2012)

New Jersey Bill Would Dramatically Expand Employers’ Notice Distribution Obligations; New Jersey Bills Seek to Prohibit Employers from Requiring or Obtaining Credit Checks.

New Jersey eAuthority (May 2012)

New Jersey Seeks to Bar Employers From Requiring Social Networking Info; New Jersey Adopts “Employment First” Initiative; “Perceived As” Discrimination Claims Now Extend to All Protected Categories Under New Jersey LAD; Attorney-Assisted Gripes About Commission Reduction Not Protected By New Jersey CEPA; Plaintiff Bears the Burden of Establishing Mitigation of Front Pay Damages under New Jersey LAD; New York Employee Denied Equal Paternity Leave May Pursue Gender Discrimination Claim under Title VII; Sexual Orientation Protected Through Retaliation In New York; New York Seeks to Bar Employers from Requesting Social Media Log-in Names or Passwords; New York Assembly Attempts to Fix Gender Pay Discrepancies; New York Assembly Approves Bill to Increase Minimum Wage for Public and Private Employees.

New Jersey eAuthority (April 2012)

Bill Seeks to More Than Double the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers by July 2013; “Save New Jersey Call Center Jobs Act” Passes in the Assembly; Four Bills Seeking to Combat Gender Wage Gap Blaze Through the Assembly; Another Bill Would Prohibit Employers from Credit Screening Potential Hires; Another Bill Would Provide for School and Medical Family Leave; Third Circuit Disallows Cost Shifting of the Majority of ESI Expenses; Third Circuit Upholds Arbitration Agreement in Meal Break Class Action; Appellate Division Affirms Dismissal of Suit Because Employer Responded to Most of the Employee’s Multiple Requests For Accommodation; Appellate Division Finds Single Anti-Semitic Email Insufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment. New Jersey’s Corporation Business Tax Held Applicable to Foreign Corporations With a

New Jersey eAuthority (March 2012)

Governor Vetos “Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act”; Twin Bills Would Require Use of E-Verify Program for New Hires and Stiff Penalties for Employment of Unauthorized Workers; School Necessities Leave Bill Proposed; Proposal to Expand NJLAD to Cover Pregnancy, Child Birth and Breastfeeding; Proposal to Expand CEPA Protections to Those Who Object to Government Waste, Abuse of Authority or Gross Mismanagement; Paid Jury Duty Leave Proposed Once Again; New Jersey Minimum Wage Bill Advances; Inside Sales Exemption Formally Restore; Two Pending Bills Would Afford New York Employees the Right to Review Their Personnel File; Senate Passes Bill to Eliminate Annual Notice Requirements of Wage Theft Prevention Act; Incarcerated Employee Ineligible to Receive Unemployment Benefits; Availability of Attorneys’ Fees Enhancements Under the NJLAD Reaffirmed.

New Jersey eAuthority (February 2012)

New Jersey Trade Secrets Act Effective January 9, 2012 Re-Introduced Bill Proposes Numerous Significant Changes to the Law Against Discrimination NJDOL Makes Available One-Page Poster and Notice for Use by Employers Maximum Weekly Benefits for Unemployment, Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation Increased for 2012 Bills Introduced to Increase Minimum Wage to $8.50 Effective July 1, 2012 Bills Introduced to Limit Employers’ Ability to Require Applicants to Disclose Prior Criminal Convictions Bills Introduced to Prohibit Employers from Requiring Applicants to Undergo a Credit Check as a Condition of Employment Bill Introduced to Exclude Illegal Aliens from Workers’ Compensation and Temporary Disability Benefits Coverage Bill Introduced to Require Contractors and Subcontractors Engaged in a Public Works Contract Subject to Prevailing Wage Requirements to Provide More Specific Wage Information Bill Introduced to Spare Repayment of Unemployment Benefit Overpayments Obtained Innocently But Erroneously Bill Introduced to Allow Employers to Require Payment by Direct Deposit NYDOL Publishes FAQs on Numerous Wage and Hour Topics, Including Wage Deductions and Overtime Rules Third Circuit Confirms Individual Supervisor Liability Under the FMLA for Both Public and Private Employers Attorney-Client Privilege Does Not Attach to Employee’s Emails Sent Through Company Email System on Work Computer Starbucks District Manager Was Carrying Out Her Job Duties and Therefore Was Not a Whistleblower Protected by CEPA When She Reported Workplace Misconduct Employer May Be Liable for Failure to Provide FMLA Notice LAD Does Not Protect Against Adverse Actions Taken on Basis of Familial Status Unsuccessful Romantic Overtures Insufficient to Establish Hostile Work Environment or

New Jersey eAuthority (December 2011)

Reminder: Employers Must Comply with Requirement to Provide New NJDOL Notice; New Jersey Trade Secrets Act Goes to Governor for Final Approval; Bill Reintroduced to Bar Employment Disqualification Based on Criminal Conviction; NJDOL Proposes Rule to Restore the “Inside Sales” Exemption; Reminder: Annual CEPA Notice for Employers with 10 or More Employees Must Be Distributed;Reminder: Annual Wage Theft Prevention Notices Take Effect January 1, 2012;New York Attorney General Launches State Initiative Covering Religious Rights; “Professional Exemption” Under NJ Wage and Hour Law Applies to Employees Paid.

New Mandatory Poster

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) recently issued a new six-page notice that employers must post in their locations and provide to all employees. All New Jersey employers must immediately begin providing a copy of the notice to any new hires, and provide it to all current employees by December 7, 2011.

New Jersey eAuthority (November 2011)

New Mandatory Poster and Notice Issued by NJDOL; “Inside Sales” Exemption Inadvertently Omitted in New NJ Wage and Hour Regulations; Senate Approves “New Jersey Trade Secrets Act”; Returns to Assembly for Consideration; New York Department of Labor Posts Wage Notices in Russian, Haitian Creole and Polish; Unemployment Appeals Tribunal Determination Precludes Summary Judgment.

New Jersey eAuthority (Summer 2011)

New Law Requires Employers to Provide Additional Information About Unemployment Benefits Upon Termination NJDCR Publishes New Mandatory Posters for Employers Proposed Regulations Regarding Required New NJDOL Handout and Poster Regulations Proposed to Implement Law Protecting Unemployed Applicants Proposed “Wage Protection Act” Would Impose Steep Penalties and Additional Criminal Sanctions for Wage Violations Unemployment Insurance Tax Rates Reduced for 2012 and 2013 Prevailing Wage Regulations Concerning Maintenance Work Adopted Governor Approves Amendments to New Jersey Employee Leasing Statute New Reporting Requirements for Availability of Health Insurance New York Department of Labor Posts Sample Wage Statement Out-of-State In-House Attorneys May Counsel Legal Entities in New York New Legislation Requires NYC Employers To Provide Accommodations For Religious Observance

New Jersey eAuthority (April 2011).

New Jersey Proposes New Overtime Rules for Exempt Employees; New Law Prohibits Exclusion of Unemployed Applicants in Job Ads; Criminal Background Checks on the Horizon for Home Enterprise Industry; Revised Emergency Regulations Regarding Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Extended to April 25, 2011; 15 Minutes Deemed Adequate Time to Review Separation Agreement.

New Jersey eAuthority (March 2011).

New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Proposes Amendments to Disability Discrimination Regulations; Governor Signs Bill Concerning Indemnification of Corporate Officers; Assembly Approves Governor’s Recommendations for Protecting Unemployed Job Applicants; Minimum Wage Advisory Commission Recommends Maintaining the Current Minimum Wage Rate; Amendment Proposed to Unemployment Insurance Law to Clarify Recent Changes Regarding Disqualification; Bill Penalizing Employers for Knowingly Employing Unauthorized Aliens Introduced; Enforceability of Class Action Waiver in Arbitration Agreement Must Be Decided by Arbitrator; No Adverse Inference When Employer Destroyed Records Pursuant to Company’s Retention Policy; Employer’s Improper Termination of ERISA Benefits Warrants Retroactive Reinstatement of Benefits; Employee Barred From Bringing Tort Action Against Workers’ Compensation Carrier for Delay or Denial of Treatment.

New Jersey eAuthority (February 2011).

Governor Christie Vetoes Bill to Prevent Employers from Posting Job Advertisements That Deter Unemployed Individuals from Applying for Positions; Bill to Provide Greater Indemnification Protections to Corporate Officials Awaits Approval by the Governor; Bill Would Require Employers to Provide Additional Unemployment Compensation Information to Employees Upon Their Termination; New Bills Offer Greater Protection for Whistleblowers; New York Proposes Various Leave Bills; Bill Requires Notification of the Actions of Criminals in the Workplace; Opinion Letter on Internships Issued by the New York Department of Labor; Third Circuit Upholds Random Drug Testing for Public Employees in “Safety -Sensitive” Positions; Successor Employer May Be Liable for ERISA Contributions Where It Had Prior Notice of the Liability.

New Jersey eAuthority (January 2011)

Bill Seeks to Broaden Scope of WARN Act to Include Mass Layoffs at Multiple Franchise Locations; Bill Introduced to Amend New Jersey Law Against Discrimination; Legislation Proposes Measures to Provide New Jersey’s Unemployed On-The-Job Training and to Handle Every Aspect of Their Unemployment Claims Online; Bill to Establish Standards Regarding Disqualification for Unemployment Compensation for Misconduct; Senate Panel Advances Bill Relaxing Statute of Limitations for Claims of Sexual Abuse; New York Wage Theft Prevention Act Effective April 9, 2011; New York Department of Labor Issues Required Poster for Hospitality Industry Concerning Implementation Period; Third Circuit Holds Plaintiff’s Harassment Claims Preempted by Section 301; Corporate Officers May Be Liable for Aiding or Abetting an “Employer”; Law Division Rules Holding Company May Be Liable for Aiding and Abetting Under the NJLAD; Discovery Rule May Apply to NJLAD Claim When Employee is Misled; No Bar to Private Employers Using Applicant’s Bankruptcy History in Hiring Decisions.

New Jersey eAuthority (December 2010).

Reminder – Employers With 10 or More Employees Must Provide Annual CEPA Notice; Family Leave Insurance Contributions and Benefits to be Reduced; Revised Unemployment Regulations Proposed; Repeal of Prevailing Wage Laws Proposed; New York Enacts Wage Theft Prevention Act; Final New York Hospitality Industry Wage Order Issued; Will Go Into Effect January 1, 2011; New York Department of Labor Issues Proposed Apprenticeship Regulations in State Register; New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Ledbetter’s Limitation on Wage Claims Under the LAD; Supreme Court Holds Employee’s Use of Stolen Documents in Retaliation Claim May Be Protected Activity; Court Must Examine Totality of the Evidence in Deciding Employer’s Fee-Shifting Application

New Jersey eAuthority (November 2010)

Governor Signs Into Law Bill to Correct Abuses in Unemployment Claims Procedures; Bills Seek to Expand Training Opportunities to Certain Laid Off Employees; Bill Aims to Prohibit Practice of Excluding Unemployed Individuals in Advertisements for Job Vacancies; Resolution Introduced to Raise Minimum Wage; New York Department of Labor Issues Proposed “Hospitality Wage Order”; NYDOL Issues Slightly Revised Emergency Regulations Regarding Mandatory Overtime for Nurses; Failure to Promote Claim Not Covered Under Fair Pay Act; Causal Connection Not Established Where Two Years Passed Between Employee’s Complaint and His Termination.

New Jersey eAuthority (October 2010).

Two More Bills Introduced to Prohibit Credit Checks as a Condition of Employment; Pending Bills Would Bar Civil Liability for Providing Good Faith References for Former Employees; Bill Would Allow Employers to Require Their Employees to Speak English While Performing Job Duties; New York WARN Act Regulations Finally Adopted; Discrimination Claims Fail Where Non-Resident Cannot Demonstrate Impact Within New York; Supreme Court Refuses to Resolve Whether Adverse Action Necessary to Establish Failure to Accommodate Claim; Call Center Employees Who Received Commissions Not Based Upon Percentage of Sales Price Still Exempt from Overtime Pay; Intentional Tort Claim May Survive Even Where LAD Claim Fails.

New Jersey eAuthority (September 2010).

New York Department of Labor Clarifies Wage Deduction Rules;New York Law Attacks Misclassification of Independent Contractors in Construction Industry; New York Employees in Same-Sex Relationships Now Eligible for Same Funeral and Bereavement Leave Afforded to Heterosexual Couples; Legislation Enacted to Protect “Innocent Bystanders” During Strikes; Trial Court Refuses to Compel Mental Exams for LAD Plaintiffs; Disability Discrimination Claim Fails Where Employee Does Not Engage in Interactive Process; Employee “Engaged to be Waiting” at Job Site Entitled to Overtime Pay; Appellate Division Strikes Unconscionable Arbitration Provisions.

New Jersey eAuthority (August 2010).

New Jersey DOL Issues Proposed Rule Allowing Time Rounding; New York Department of Labor Issues Another Round of Substantially Revised WARN Regulations; Effective Date of Emergency Regulations Issues Regarding Mandatory Overtime for Nurses Extended to October 6; Unreasonable Delay in Prosecution May Warrant Dismissal of Trade Secrets Case; Immigrant Status Not Sufficient to Establish Extraordinary Circumstances Under ERISA; Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Not Entitled to Overtime Pay Under FLSA’s Administrative Exemption ; Catering Manager Statutorily Exempt from Overtime Pay Under NJ Wage & Hour Law; Isolated Incidents of Derogatory Comments Not Severe and Pervasive Under Title VII.

New Jersey eAuthority (July 2010).

Updates on New Jersey employment law.

New Jersey eAuthority (June 2010).

Additional Bills Introduced to Require NJ Employers to Use Federal E-Verify System; Assembly Revises Civil “Rape Shield” Bill; Bill Introduced to Prohibit Credit Checks as a Condition of Employment; Bill to Extend COBRA Benefits to Employees of Companies That Cease to Exist; Bill Would Provide for Expedited Injunctions for Violations of NJ WARN Act; NJDOL Drafting Regulations Permitting Rounding of Hours; Jury Duty Pay Bill Proposed; Bill Introduced to Correct Abuses in Unemployment Claims Procedures; New York City Council Amends Bill to Provide Paid Sick Time in New York City; Faragher-Ellerth Defense Not Available Under New York City Human Rights Law; New York Hotel and Restaurant Employers Await New Wage and Hour Regulations; NY WARN Act Emergency Rule Extended; Contract Nonrenewal Not Covered by NJLAD’s “Over 70 Exception”; Employer May Assign Job Duties Based Upon Proficiency in English; Validity of Class Action Waiver in Arbitration Agreement Decided by Court, Not Arbitrator.

New Jersey eAuthority (May 2010)

New Federal Law Extends Deadline for New Jersey's Unemployed Workers to Qualify for Existing Tiers of Federal Unemployment Insurance Benefits; Emergency Regulations Issued Regarding Mandatory Overtime for Nurses; Bill Affording Employees the Right to Review Personnel Files Proposed; Bill Expanding Whistle Blower Protections Advances; Side Effects of Medication May Constitute a Disability Under the ADA; Employer Must Consider Shift Change to Accommodate Disability-Related Difficulties in Getting to Work; Doctor’s Conduct Toward Nurse May Be Sexual Harassment; Court Rejects Effort to Impute Liability to Employer Through Staffing Assistant; Employer Subject to Liability for Discrimination Carried Out Under Contractual Agreement with Third Party.

New Jersey eAuthority.

Bill Proposes Protections for Employee Inventions; Bill to Repeal Family Leave Insurance Law; Proposed Bills Would Limit Employers’ Use of Credit Checks; Multiple New Senate and House Bills Address Unauthorized Alien Issues; “Abusive Workplace” Bill Proposed; Court of Appeals Announces Standard for Evaluating Enforceability of Arbitration Cost-Sharing Provisions; mployer May Not Access Employee’s Emails to Her Attorney Sent from Her Personal Email Account Using Employer’s Computer; Employee Can Use Lay Testimony to Help Establish FMLA Claim; Settlement Agreement Does Not Encompass Pending Workers’ Compensation Claim Where Evidence Showed There Was No Intent to Include It.

New Jersey eAuthority (March 2010).

New Regulation Issued Concerning Prevailing Wage Requirements for Construction Work on Public Utilities; Proposal to Require Employment Eligibility Verification and to Sanction Hiring of Unauthorized Aliens; Bill Proposes Extension of Health Benefits Continuation Under New Jersey “Mini COBRA”; Bill Reintroduced to Prohibit Mandatory Employment Arbitration Agreements; Governor Reveals Proposals for Fixing Unemployment Insurance Fund; NYS DOL Issues Additional Model Notice and Acknowledgement Forms to Assist Employers when Hiring New Employees; NYS DOL Extends Emergency Regulations Concerning Overtime for Nurses; Third Circuit Holds Administrative Exemption Under FLSA Applicable to Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives; CEPA Plaintiff Not Entitled to Front and Back Pay Unless Actually or Constructively Discharged.

New Jersey eAuthority (February 2010).

New Law Allows License Suspension and Revocation for Repeat Violations of Wage, Benefits, and Tax Laws; Creates New Notice Requirements; Medical Marijuana Law Passes; Employers’ Accommodation Obligations Unclear; Employment Protection for Volunteer Emergency Responders; Annual Adjustments in Family Leave Insurance Contribution Rates; Autism Now Expressly Protected Under the NJLAD; Prevailing Wage – Expansion of the Scope of “Maintenance-Related Projects”; Construction Contracts Must Now Include Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Language to Receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Funds; Governor Announces New Labor Commissioner Nominee; “Continuing Violation Theory” Cannot Be Used to “Sweep In” an Otherwise Time-Barred Discrete Retaliatory Act Under the NJLAD; Single “Politically Incorrect” Comment Insufficient to Establish Age Discrimination; NJLAD’s “Refusal To Do Business” Provision Prohibits Conditioning Business on Submission to Sexual Advances; No Bar on Public Interest Attorneys Simultaneously Negotiating Settlement on Merits and Attorneys’ Fees in NJLAD and CEPA Matters; Sexual Harassment Settlement with Public Employer Cannot Be Kept Secret.

New Jersey eAuthority (January 2010)

Weekly Unemployment, Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance Benefits Increased for 2010; Reminder – Employers With 10 or More Employees Must Provide Annual CEPA Notice; Prevailing Wage – Senate Labor Committee Approves Bill Requiring Participation in Registered Apprenticeship Programs; Prevailing Wage – Assembly Passes Bill Expanding Scope of “Maintenance-Related” Projects; NY WARN Act Emergency Rule Extended; New Jersey Institutes Mandatory CLE Requirements for All Licensed Attorneys, Effective Immediately; McDonnell Douglas Burden-Shifting Framework Still Applies to Federal Age Claims Despite “But For” Test Adopted by Supreme Court.

New Jersey eAuthority (December 2009)

Governor Signs Law Allowing Corporations Greater Flexibility to Grant Equity Awards; Proposed Law Seeks to Bar Employment Disqualification Based Upon Convictions, and to Bar Asking Applicants about Arrest Record; New Jersey Wage and Hour Regulations Amended to Allow Employers to Withhold Wages for Health Club Membership Costs or Child Care Services; Proposed Amendment to LAD Clarifies Protection of Persons with Autism; Employment Protections Proposed for Emergency Responders; Bill Proposes Adjustments to Employee Contribution Rate for Family Temporary Disability Leave Insurance; New York Department of Labor Now Allows Employers to Prepare their Own Forms to Comply with Notice and Acknowledgment of Pay Requirements; New York Commissioner of Labor Approves Changes to Wage and Hour Regulations for Hotel and Restaurant Workers; New Jersey Appellate Court Embraces U.S. Supreme Court’s Ledbetter Decision; General Language in Employee Handbook Insufficient to Compel Arbitration of LAD Claim; Employee Entitled to Workers’ Compensation for Mental Stress Resulting from Hostile Work Environment.

New Jersey eAuthority (November 2009).

New Jersey Prohibits Sex Offenders from Working for Youth Organizations; Proposed Amendment Redefines “Misconduct” for Unemployment Benefit Disqualification Purposes; NYS DOL Issues Required Notice and Acknowledgement Form that New York Employers Must Use When Hiring New Employees; “Nurse Coverage Plans” Mandatory for Involuntary Overtime in New York; Release Valid Under OWBPA Where Plaintiff Was Given Appropriate Time to Consider It, Notwithstanding He Signed It Immediately Due to His Own Poor Financial Condition; New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Defendants Cannot Recover Fees in CEPA and LAD Cases under Offer of Judgment Rule; ADEA Claim Fails Where Employer Had Numerous Reasons to Fire Employee; Age Clearly Not the “But For” Factor in Termination.

New Jersey eAuthority.

New Jersey Announces Nation’s First RETURN-to-Work Program; 5,000+ NJ Residents Have Received Family Leave Insurance Benefits; Legislation Proposed to Provide Paid Sick Time in New York City; Appellate Division Adopts Broad Definition of “Opposition” Under the NJLAD; Employee May Bring FMLA Retaliation Claim Although Leave Had Not Commenced When Allegedly Unlawful Action Occurred; Plaintiff’s Failure to Follow Employer’s Version of the Interactive Process Does Not Justify Employer Abandoning the Process.

New Jersey eAuthority (September 2009)

New York “Mini-COBRA” Law; Extended Health Insurance Coverage for Dependent Children Through Age 29; “Litigation Hold” Letters May Be Discoverable Where Company’s Efforts to Preserve Evidence Are Questionable; Plaintiff’s Use in Litigation of Confidential Documents Taken from Employer Does Not Constitute Protected Activity; Release Signed by Plaintiff Post-Termination Upheld as Voluntary; Under Title VII, Employer’s Remedial Action Is Adequate If It Is Reasonably Calculated to End the Harassment, Even If the Harassment Continues; No CEPA Claim Where Employee’s Interest Was Financial Gain; FMLA and NJFLA “Same or Equivalent Position” Requirement Analyzed; Third Circuit Addresses Standard for Evaluating Misappropriation of Confidential Information Claims.

New Jersey eAuthority.

New Jersey - Governor Corzine Signs “Egan & Quijano” Bill Imposing Harsher Penalties on Employers Found to Have Knowingly Violated Workers’ Compensation Requirements; New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase Affects New Wage Execution/Garnishment Orders; New York State Human Rights Law Amended to Allow Imposition of Civil Penalties and Fines Against Employers Found to Have Committed Discriminatory Employment Practices; New York Department of Labor Further Revises Its NY WARN Act Emergency Regulations; New Jersey - Overseas Employees May Be Eligible for New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Benefits;Third Circuit Refuses to Certify Class Challenging UPS’ No Light Duty Policy Under ADA; New Jersey - Supreme Court Holds Arbitration Agreements in Electronic Form Are Valid.

New Jersey eAuthority - July 2009

Reminder: Employees Now Eligible for New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Benefits; New Jersey Minimum Wage Increases on July 24; Employment Protection for Volunteer Emergency Responders Bill Proposed; Trade Secrets Legislation Introduced; Bill Prohibiting Sex Offenders from Working in Youth Serving Organizations Near Passage; Bill to Establish Penalties for Employers that Permit Unauthorized Aliens to Operate Motor Vehicles; New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Would Limit Debt Collectors’ Ability to Contact Debtors at Work; Bill to Allow Corporate Officers to Make Equity Grants to Employees Reaches Governor; Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Extends Right to Sue Only for Discriminatory Compensation Claims; Mere Supervisory Authority Does Not Make Employee “Management Level” for Purposes of Title VII Liability; Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Plaintiff’s E-Mails to Attorney from Her Personal E-Mail Account, Using Employer’s Computer; Accessing Employees’ Private Internet Chatroom Violates Stored Communication & Wiretap Laws; “Psycho Bitch” Comment Sufficient to Preclude Summary Judgment on Hostile Work Environment Claim; Accepting Voluntary Separation Plan Not “Good Cause Attributable to the Work”; Termination for Cause Insufficient to Deny Employee Compensation Already Earned; Employer Not Entitled to Jury Charge on Ellerth-Faragher Affirmative Defense Where Evidence Was Insufficient to Establish That Policy Existed and Plaintiffs Knew About It; Release in Severance Agreement Invalidated Under OWBPA.

New Jersey eAuthority.

Family Leave Insurance Forms Now Available from NJDOL; Bill Would Create Civil “Rape Shield” Law in Sexual Harassment Cases; Maximum Weeks Payable for Extended Unemployment Benefits Raised from 13 to 20 Weeks; Bill Provides Enhanced Penalties for Repeat Violators of Wage and Hour Laws; Bill Seeks to Prevent Striking Workers from Receiving Unemployment Benefits; Senate Resolution Urges Governor to Suspend Prevailing Wage Requirement During Current Economic Crisis; Bill Bars Certain Sex Offenders from Positions in Youth Serving Organizations; Supervisors May Be Individually Liable Under NJLAD for Failing to Respond to Harassment Complaints; CEPA Claim Allowed Where Employee Objected to Use of Company’s Web Portals Due to Lack of Privacy Protection; FLSA Verdict Upheld Against Staples; Liquidated Damages Awarded; Ambiguity in Commission Plan Results in Additional Commissions to Former Employee; ADA Claim Dismissed Where Plaintiff Failed to Present Evidence That His Employer Perceived Him As Substantially Limited in a Major Life Activity; Court Rejects Employer’s Defamation Claim Based on Statements Posted on Message Board; Appellate Division Limits Immigration-Related Discovery.

New Jersey eAuthority

Reminder Regarding New Jersey Paid Family Leave; New York WARN Act Emergency Regulations Are Extended; Employer Not Liable Where Assault by Employee Not Foreseeable; Third Circuit Rejects Religious Discrimination Claim Where No Accommodation Could Be Made Without Undue Burden; “Over 70 Exception” to the NJLAD Does Not Extend to Renewal of Existing Employees’ Employment Contracts; Demographic Evidence Admissible to Defeat Age Claim; No Breach of Settlement Agreement by Employer Where Employee Agreed to Resign But Was Disciplined Pending Approval of Settlement Agreement; Plaintiff Required to Prove Existence of Reasonable Accommodation to Establish Prima Facie Case of Disability Discrimination.

New Jersey eAuthority.

Bill Seeks to Prohibit Credit History Discrimination; Paid Family Leave Regulations Are Adopted; Bill Would Require IT Professionals to Report Discovery of Child Porn; New Law Limits Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Unpaid Suspensions Pending Discipline; Bill Seeks to Prevent Striking Workers from Receiving Unemployment Benefits; Bill Would Impose Criminal Penalties for Workers’ Compensation Infractions; Employee Waived Attorney-Client Privilege by Sending E-Mails on Company Computer; District Court Questions “Aiding and Abetting” Liability for Non-Supervisory Employees Under NJLAD; Sanctions Imposed on Employee Who Destroyed Evidence; No Violation by Prospective Employer Who Withdrew Employment Offer; Failure to Accommodate Claim Permitted Where Employer Did Not Consider Reassignment to Vacant Position; Retail Establishment Not Entitled to Trucking Industry Exemption Under New Jersey Wage and Hour Law for Employees Operating From Service and Distribution Centers.

New Jersey eAuthority.

Bill to Prohibit Credit History Discrimination Introduced; Bill to Create a “New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force” to Address the Needs of Older Workers Passed by the Senate Labor Committee; Family Leave Tax Does Not Apply to Pension Payments; New Emergency NY WARN Act Regulations Published; Southern District Rules Faragher-Ellerth Defense Not Available in Harassment Case Brought under New York City Human Rights Law, but Certifies Issue to Second Circuit; Sales Managers Win $2.5 Million Jury Verdict Against Staples, Inc. in FLSA Lawsuit; New Jersey Supreme Court Overturns Criminal Conviction Based Upon Display of Union Rat, Ruling Ordinance Violated Free Speech. Employee’s Discrimination Claims Barred Where Employee Makes Contrary Statements to Social Security Administration Absences Do Not Amount to “Misconduct” Within Meaning of Unemployment Compensation Statute Where Conduct Not Willful, Deliberate or Intentional Federal Court Certifies Class in Race Bias Suit Based Upon Residence Requirement

Another Assembly Bill Prohibiting Employment of Unauthorized Aliens Introduced.

On January 26, 2009, the “New Jersey Jobs Protection Act” (A3675) was introduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee. The proposed legislation seeks to punish any New Jersey employer that intentionally or knowingly employs an unauthorized alien. This bill is similar in several regards to a bill (A3289) introduced last October, and discussed in the November 2008 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

Proposed Bill Places Requirements on In-House Security Officers.

On January 13, 2009, the “Security Officer Registration Act” (SORA) (S2477) was introduced, which would require any person who is employed as an in-house security officer to register with the Superintendant of State Police and to complete an education and training program.

Bill to Prevent Workplace Bullying Referred to the Assembly Labor Committee.

On January 9, 2009, the “Healthy Workplace Act” (A1551), which would make unlawful workplace bullying, abuse and harassment unrelated to any category that is protected by existing law, was reintroduced and referred to the Assembly Labor Committee for review.

Bill Introduced to Deny State Contracts and Grants to Employers That Outsource Jobs to Foreign Countries.

On December 8, 2008, a bill (A3516) was introduced that provides that any business entity that eliminates jobs performed by its employees in the United States and causes the functions performed by those employees to be “outsourced” to workers in any foreign nation will be ineligible to perform any state contract or receive any state grant.

Governor Signs Business Grant Bill.

On December 9, 2008, Governor Jon Corzine signed into law bill S6, the “InvestNJ Business Grant Program Act.” This law provides for both capital investment grants, and grants for certain new hires.

Court Rules That Arbitrator Exceeded His Authority by Ordering Promotion of One Police Officer Over Another.

After the Borough of Glassboro promoted officer William Highley over officer Peter Amico, the union filed a grievance on behalf of Amico on the basis that the borough’s decision violated the promotional procedure set forth in the collective bargaining agreement, and that the decision violated state law by making residency in the borough a factor.

Facilitation of Interest Arbitration Between Public Employers and Police/Fire Departments.

By a vote of 47-31, the Assembly passed a bill (A2243) designed to facilitate the timely resolution of contract disputes between public employers and their police and fire unions by establishing statutory timeframes for certain phases of the interest arbitration process. Presently, no time restrictions exists for mediation and fact-finding stages of police and fire interest arbitration. If signed into law, A2243 would establish a 60-day limit for each stage. In addition, under the new bill, if the parties proceed to interest arbitration the arbitrator must render a decision within 120 days, unless the parties mutually request an extension of up to 90 days.

Training Wage Bill Proposed.

A bill (A3429) to establish a training wage was introduced on November 13, 2008. If signed into law, this bill would permit employers to pay a training wage of not less than 85% (of the state minimum wage) to individuals above the age of 15 and below the age of 21 years of age, provided they are enrolled in an established on-the-job or other training program. The training wage cannot last for more than 90 days, and no employee can earn the training wage for more than two employers during any one-year period. Also, employers cannot utilize an employee paid the training wage to replace a current or laid off employee.

Bill to Prevent Workplace Bullying Reviewed by Assembly.

On November 13, the Assembly Labor Committee met on a proposed bill (A1551), the “Healthy Workplace Act,” that would aim to combat workplace bullying, abuse and harassment unrelated to any category protected by law. If passed, this bill could open the floodgates to claims by employees who feel they were picked on, harassed, or otherwise undermined by co-workers, without regard to the reason.

Several Key Bills Pending Before Assembly and Senate Concerning Criminal Background Checks for Employment Purposes.

This month, several key bills concerning criminal background checks for employees and applicants were introduced or modified. One bill (A3227) introduced on October 6, 2008 would require criminal background checks for owners and employees of businesses providing services that require entry into a person’s home (e.g., maids, electricians, furniture delivery persons, etc.). The criminal background check, which would be conducted by the Director of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, would certify that owners and employees of such home service enterprises have not been convicted of certain types of dangerous crimes. The Director also would be required to consider whether any disqualified individual has been successfully rehabilitated such that the prohibition on home-service employment would be waived. Home-service businesses would be responsible for an annual registration fee to defray the cost of the background checks.

New Jersey eAuthority (pdf).

  • “On Call Waiting Time” Not Compensable Under FLSA or NJWHL
  • Improper Use of Company’s E-mail Disqualified Employee from Receiving Unemployment Compensation Benefits
  • Failure to Institute Effective Sexual Harassment Policy Can Subject Employer to Liability for Co-Worker Harassment
  • Union Violated Employees’ Privacy Rights by “Tagging”
  • Employee Not Entitled to Recap Taxes Withheld While Misclassified as Independent Contractor
  • Employer Must Pay All Costs of Testing Under Bloodborne Pathogens Standard, Including Travel Costs and Non-Work Time Spent
  • Third Circuit Rejects Plaintiffs’ “Single Employer” Argument; Related Corporate Entity Not Jointly Liable for WARN Act Violation
  • Court Rejects Employee’s Computer Privacy Claim
  • New York Expands Various Laws Concerning Employment of Ex-Convicts
  • Two Bills That Would Have Amended the Law Against Discrimination Have Been Withdrawn
  • Employers Must Ensure the Removal of Snow and Ice From Handicapped Parking Spaces Within 24 Hours After Inclement Weather Ceases
  • Assembly Seeks to Make New Jersey More “Business Friendly” for Corporations
  • Assembly Bill Introduced to Provide Tax Credits for Businesses That Implement Telecommuting Programs
  • Assembly Bill Introduced to Add “Midwives” to the List of Authorized Medical Professionals Who Can Examine or Treat Individuals Under Certain Labor Laws
  • NJDOL Publishes Proposed Regulations Concerning New Jersey’s Paid Family Leave Law
  • Governor Corzine Signs Bill to Allow First-Time Offenders in Minor Drug-Related Infractions to Keep Their Driving Privileges So They Can Continue to Work or Find a Job2
  • No Evidence Of Pretext Where Female Plaintiff Was Hired To Replace Male, And Was Fired By Same Committee Who Hired Her; Plaintiff Not Entitled To Bonus Payment Under NJ Wage Payment Law Where Her Bonus Had Not Vested At Time Of Her Termination.

    The Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for the employer on a gender discrimination claim, despite evidence that the alleged poor performance for which Plaintiff (a Senior VP) was terminated, was never mentioned in her termination letter.

    Supreme Court Declines, For Now, To Recognize Common-Law "Prima Facie Tort" Claim.

    In a non-employment case that may have implications for employers, the Supreme Court declined for now to recognize the cause of action known as "prima facie tort".

    New Jersey Supreme Court Committee Recommends Mandatory CLE for All NJ Attorneys, Including In-House Counsel.

    On May 20, 2008, the Supreme Court Ad Hoc Committee released its draft report and recommendations regarding the implementation of mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) in the state of New Jersey. Key recommendations include: 24 CLE credits to be required every two years, including 4 in ethics/professionalism; 6 non-ethics credit hours may be carried over to the next cycle; and up to 12 credits per cycle may be earned through alternative formats (internet, audiotape).

    Bill Introduced to Speed Up Contract Negotiations Between Public Employers and Police and Fire Unions.

    A bill (A2243) recently was introduced to accelerate the process for resolving contract negotiations between public employers and police and fire unions.

    Assembly Bill Introduced to Allow Corporate Officers to Make Equity Grants to Employees.

    An Assembly bill (A2885) introduced on June 5 would give greater flexibility to corporations in granting equity awards to employees.

    Bill to Bar Confidential Settlements by Public Entities Introduced.

    On June 5, a bill (A2893) was introduced which would bar public entities and employees from entering into confidential settlements, including settlements of employment disputes.

    Plant Closing Relief Bills Introduced.

    Three bills were introduced in the Senate and the Assembly that would provide additional protections for workers affected by plant closings, transfers and mass layoffs.

    Governor Corzine Signs Bill to Prevent July Tax Increase to Employers.

    On June 19, Governor Jon Corzine signed S1698 into law authorizing a supplemental appropriation of $260 million from the State’s 2008 budget surplus to prevent a scheduled July tax increase on employers due to the depletion of State unemployment compensation funds.

    Proposed Jobs, Trade And Democracy Act Advances To Possible Floor Vote.

    On May 22, the Assembly Labor Committee released the “Jobs, Trade and Democracy Act,” which is new legislation (A2754) that would provide for greater State oversight of international trade policy affecting New Jersey, to a potential floor vote.

    Bill Introduced To Create Committee To Study Issues Concerning Senior Citizen Employees.

    On May 22, a bill (A2791) was introduced that would create a “New Jersey Senior Labor Task Force,” appointed by the Governor, to study and evaluate issues concerning employment of senior citizens in the State’s (private and public sector) labor force, including age discrimination, eliminating barriers preventing senior citizens from the labor force, and finding ways to encourage employers to employ senior citizens.

    Proposed Legislation Would Bar Confidential Settlements In Public Sector Cases.

    Senate bill S1262, which would prohibit public entities and public employees from entering into confidential court settlements of claims.

    English Only Bill Filed In Assembly.

    On May 22, a bill (A2866) was introduced in the Assembly to amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) to expressly provide that it shall not be an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require an employee to speak, or an applicant for employment to speak, English while engaged in work.

    Refusal to Pay Sales Commission to Former Employee Upheld.

    The Appellate Division affirmed a lower court decision which held the employer properly refused to pay sales commissions to a former employee where the customer paid for the product only after the employee had left the company.

    Company's Public Refutation of Plaintiff's Claims Not Actionable.

    Plaintiff alleged that he was unlawfully terminated after complaining that his employer had been making improper payments to foreign officials.

    The New Jersey Military Leave Law Expanded.

    On January 3, 2008, the New Jersey Military Leave law concerning reemployment of military service personnel (N.J.S.A. 38:23C-20) was amended.

    Planning a Cutback? New Jersey Employers Must Use Caution.

    New Jersey employers with 100 or more employees contemplating a transfer or closure of operations that impacts 50 or more employees at a New Jersey facility must comply with the recently enacted Millvale Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ Warn Act).

    New Jersey Enacts Punitive Plant Closing Notification Law.

    New Jersey employers are now subject to a plant closing notification law that is significantly more punitive than the existing federal WARN Act under a bill signed into law by Governor Corzine, which became effective on December 20, 2007.
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