Total Articles: 256
Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 17, 2020
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development rescheduled the hearing on proposed regulations regarding tipped employees to Friday, February 21, 2020 from the previously scheduled February 26, 2020 date. Further information on the content of the proposed regulations can be found here.
Ogletree Deakins • February 17, 2020
It was a busy January 2020 in Trenton, with the state enacting several new employment laws, with more apparently on the way. This is in addition to the slew of new laws adopted in 2019 impacting New Jersey employers. Here’s a summary of recent employment law developments in New Jersey just one month into 2020, a look at what may be on the way, and a recap of 2019’s changes.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 28, 2020
New Jersey has enacted a series of laws designed to penalize companies that misclassify individuals as independent contractors.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 23, 2020
On January 14, 2020, the latest session of the New Jersey legislature ended and, with it, so did Senate Bill (SB) 4204. The bill, which in many respects mirrored California’s recently-enacted Assembly Bill (AB) 5, sought to codify the “ABC test” as the proper method for determining whether an individual should be classified as an independent contractor or as an employee for purposes of wage claims and unemployment compensation under state law. However, by ending its session without a vote on the bill, the legislature effectively pushed any further consideration of it to the next session.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 22, 2020
Reducing your New Jersey workforce just became more expensive.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 22, 2020
New Jersey has amended its Wage Payment Law (WPL) to require employers with at least 10 employees to furnish employees with additional information each pay period to assist in determining whether their wages are being properly calculated. The new law will take effect on May 20, 2020.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 22, 2020
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has issued final regulations on the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL), ending more than a year’s anticipation following the close of the proposed regulations’ comment period in 2018.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 22, 2020
New Jersey has amended its Temporary Disability Benefits Law (TDB) to provide job-protected leave during “a period of disability” resulting from the donation of any organ or bone marrow. The new law will take effect on May 20, 2020.
FordHarrison LLP • January 21, 2020
Background: Soon after being elected, New Jersey’s Governor created a task force to end misclassification of independent contractors, and the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) began increasing audits and its scrutiny of contractors within the state.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 16, 2020
The New Jersey Legislature has passed an amendment to the Millville-Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (New Jersey WARN Act) to require companies with at least 100 employees to provide 90 days’ notice and pay severance to all affected employees when a layoff satisfies the definition of a mass layoff, transfer of operations, or a termination of operations.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 16, 2020
In a case of first impression, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that it was appropriate for a workers’ compensation judge to order an employer to reimburse its employee for his medical marijuana expenses as part of his workers’ compensation case. Vincent Hager v. M&K Construction, Docket No. A-0102-18T3 (N.J. App. Div. January 13, 2020).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 15, 2020
On January 6, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “Department”) issued long-awaited regulations regarding enforcement of New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law (ESLL) as well as its responses to comments about the initially proposed regulations.1 The final regulations contain minimal non-substantive changes, and therefore do not require additional public notice or comment. The Department’s responses to the public’s comments and concerns about the proposed regulations provide helpful insight into how the Department interprets the ESLL and the intent behind various provisions.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 07, 2020
The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) has proposed regulations revising the current definition of “wages” to expressly exclude “any gratuities received” by a tipped employee from the employer’s obligations under the state’s hourly minimum wage requirement.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 27, 2019
One year after news broke nationwide of south New Jersey high school wrestler Andrew Johnson forced to choose between forfeiting a wrestling match or having his dreadlocks cut off, New Jersey has joined California and New York in banning discrimination on the basis of hair type and style.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 27, 2019
With its “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act), New Jersey just became the third state to enact legislation specifically prohibiting discrimination based on hair texture or hairstyles associated with race. On December 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the CROWN Act, which, effective immediately, amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) by adding “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles,” to the definition of race for the purposes of prohibited discrimination.
Fisher Phillips • December 10, 2019
The New Jersey Supreme Court just agreed to review whether the “good faith” defense is available to employers that rely upon determinations made by employees of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court’s action on December 5 means it will soon make clear when you can take advantage of this defense, which is a complete bar to wage and hour claims.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 10, 2019
Last week, the IRS issued it updated Form 1094-C and 1095-C instructions for 2019. Employers that employ New Jersey residents, however, may have more reading to do. New Jersey responded to the federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate, by enacting a mandate of its own. The New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (Act), which became effective on January 1, 2019, imposes a penalty on New Jersey taxpayers who do not have minimum essential coverage during each month of the year. But, the Act also imposes some obligations for employers.
FordHarrison LLP • November 20, 2019
Background: Soon after being elected, New Jersey’s Governor created a task force to end misclassification of independent contractors, and the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) began increasing audits and its scrutiny of contractors within the state.
Fisher Phillips • November 20, 2019
In just a few short weeks, New Jersey employers will no longer be allowed to ask prospective employees about their salary history during the application or interview process or rely upon salary history in setting compensation. The rationale for the new statewide law is that setting compensation based on prior salary may perpetuate an unlawful pay disparity. By excluding salary history from the mix, employers will only be able to set compensation based on lawful considerations, including the specific job duties of the position and the applicant’s skill, education, training, and experience.
FordHarrison LLP • November 15, 2019
Executive Summary: Recently, New Jersey took several steps to severely restrict the use of independent contractors or gig workers in the Garden state. The latest effort is Bill S4204, which creates a presumption of employment status for contractors.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 11, 2019
Already a tough place for employers, New Jersey may be about to get even tougher. The Garden State is one of only a handful of states widely using the so-called ABC test, which makes it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. State legislators now want to make it even more difficult to satisfy the ABC test with a new bill, SB 4204
FordHarrison LLP • October 29, 2019
Executive Summary: The New Jersey Legislature appears poised to pass S67, the Portable Benefits Act for Independent Contractors, in the upcoming lame-duck session. If passed, the Governor is expected to sign the bill before the end of the year. The bill doubles down the current administration’s effort to end misclassification of independent contractors by creating a financial disincentive to utilizing contractors. Though the intent of the bill seems to be directed at online companies such as Uber, Lyft, Amazon, Handy and others, the impact will affect any business that relies on contractors. The bill also appears to subtly create new opportunities for organized labor through the creation of “Qualified Benefit Providers.” At least half of the members of the Boards of these funds must be worker representatives or workers. Though not in its final form, it appears some form of this bill will soon become law.
Ogletree Deakins • August 14, 2019
On August 6, 2019, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed the New Jersey Wage Theft Act (WTA) into law. The law has been touted by proponents as the toughest wage theft statute in the country. Notwithstanding its name, the WTA goes far beyond attempting to prevent and punish intentional “wage theft” by significantly expanding the liability even the best-intentioned employers will face for state wage law violations.
FordHarrison LLP • August 12, 2019
Introduction: On the heels of the broadest Pay Equity law in the country, New Jersey has just passed the broadest wage theft law in the country, which is certain to lead to increased litigation. Unwary employers may not only be facing insurmountable fines and penalties, but potentially jail time for even minor violations of the new law. The new law establishes treble damages and criminal penalties for non-payment of wages to New Jersey employees. More importantly, there is a presumption of retaliation for any adverse employment action that occurs for months after an employee complains about their wages. The presumption is rebuttable, but only if the employer produces clear and convincing evidence. The law further extends the statute of limitations to six years and allows for reinstatement of employees.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 12, 2019
On August 6, 2019, New Jersey enacted its Wage Theft Law, transforming the state’s wage and hour laws into one of the most robust in the country. As discussed below, the law substantially expands the civil and criminal recourse available for nonpayment of wages and for retaliation. Among other things, the statute broadens potential individual, and joint and successor liability to employers and certain officers and agents. Most components of the law took immediate effect.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 08, 2019
New Jersey has enacted a new law prohibiting employers from seeking or relying on job applicants’ salary history.
Ogletree Deakins • August 06, 2019
On March 1, 2019, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill No. 1567 (S1567) into law, making New Jersey the first state to require certain employers to provide pretax transportation fringe benefits to employees.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 04, 2019
The New Jersey Appellate Division has clarified the analysis required to determine the effect of restrictive covenant agreements (RCAs) and offered guidance to practitioners drafting RCAs under New Jersey law in a decision on six consolidated actions. ADP, LLC v. Kusins, No. A-4664-16T1 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. July 26, 2019).
FordHarrison LLP • July 30, 2019
Executive Summary: New Jersey employers will no longer be able to ask applicants for salary history or use an applicant’s prior wages, salary, or benefits to make compensation decisions unless the information is voluntarily disclosed by the applicant. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 29, 2019
New Jersey has expanded its medical marijuana program and—for the first time since the state enacted the law—adopted formal protections for employees and job applicants who use what is now called “medical cannabis.” The amendments took effect on July 2, 2019, when New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) signed Assembly Bill (AB) 20, the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act, into law.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • July 28, 2019
Continuing the recent deluge of salary history ban laws,1 on July 25, 2019, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver signed Bill A1094 into law.2 Like other recent laws limiting salary history inquiries, New Jersey’s law prohibits employers from screening job applicants based on the applicant’s prior salary history, which includes prior wages, salary or benefits. In addition, employers may not require that an applicant’s salary history satisfy any minimum or maximum threshold to be considered for a job. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 22, 2019
The New Jersey “Task Force on Employee Misclassification” has released its report on misclassification, offering 10 recommendations.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 15, 2019
New Jersey has provided job protections to medical marijuana users and created new drug testing procedures under new law signed by Governor Phil Murphy on July 2, 2019, that took effect upon signing.
Fisher Phillips • July 14, 2019
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed into law amendments to the state’s medical marijuana law, providing greater clarity when it comes to the workplace implications of medical marijuana use by employees and applicants, while creating additional obligations for employers. The July 2 amendments took effect immediately, which means you should not delay incorporating the new law’s requirements into your day-to-day human resources practices.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 14, 2019
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on July 2, 2019 the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“CUMCA”) to expand patient access to medical marijuana and to reform the State’s medical marijuana program. The law amends the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, N.J.S.A. 24:61-2 et seq., (and changes its name to the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act). The CUMCA makes several substantive changes to New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, including providing job protections to medical marijuana users and creating new drug testing procedures. The law took effect upon signing.
FordHarrison LLP • July 08, 2019
Executive Summary: On July 2, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a much-anticipated bill into effect that expands and revises the state’s existing medical cannabis program, the Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA). For employers faced with employees and job applicants who use cannabis, New Jersey Assembly Bill A20 provides certain job protections for medical cannabis users. This is a significant change for employees and employers, since CUMMA previously did not explicitly contain such protections, and guidance from courts was inconclusive and slow-developing. These changes are summarized below.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 25, 2019
Thereafter, on January 1 of each year, the minimum wage will increase by another $1.00 per hour, until it ultimately reaches $15.00 per hour in 2024. After 2024, the rate will continue to increase based on the federal consumer price index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 17, 2019
New Jersey has enacted a law requiring hotels with at least 100 guest rooms to provide employees in housekeeping or room service with panic devices. The law also sets recordkeeping and security protocol requirements covered hotels must comply with by December 12, 2019.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 11, 2019
Under the amended New Jersey the Public Works Contractor Registration Act (PWCRA Amendment), all contractors and subcontractors must certify participation in an apprenticeship program approved by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) in order to bid on or perform any construction-related public works projects. To implement this and other new requirements, the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) has issued proposed regulations, including a “Supplement” to its PWCRA Amendment registration forms.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 06, 2019
Even though the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) exempts transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce from arbitration agreements, the New Jersey Arbitration Act (NJAA) may provide adequate legal basis to enforce such agreements, a three-judge panel of the New Jersey appeals court has ruled. Colon v. Strategic Delivery Solutions, LLC, No. A-2378-17T4 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. June 4, 2019).
Goldberg Segalla LLP • May 30, 2019
Number of employees able to take job protected leave under certain circumstances increases with new employment law obligations in New Jersey
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 16, 2019
On May 10, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law P.L.2019, c.95. an amendment enhancing New Jersey’s data breach notification law by expanding the definition of personal information, and updating notification requirements. As we previously reported, the amendment was unanimously approved by the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate in late February.
FordHarrison LLP • April 16, 2019
Executive Summary: On April 4, 2019, the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court reaffirmed that obesity, standing alone, is not a protected characteristic under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), affirming summary judgment for a bus company employer in Dickson v. Community Bus Lines (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2019).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 16, 2019
Last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S.1567 into law, making the Garden State the first state to mandate a commuter benefit law, joining cities such as New York and San Francisco that have similar laws.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 24, 2019
New Jersey’s legislature is scheduled to vote Monday, March 25, 2019 on a bill designed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21, create a system by which marijuana and marijuana products will be taxed and sold, and expunge prior convictions for possession or distribution of cannabis products under state law.
Fisher Phillips • March 21, 2019
Employers in New Jersey will need to immediately adjust their employment contracts and settlement agreements to come into compliance with a sweeping new law that just took effect. New Jersey’s governor just signed Senate Bill 121, which limits employment contracts and settlement agreements in two major ways:
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 20, 2019
A sweeping amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) bars enforcement of non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements and employment contracts, and prohibits the waiver of substantive and procedural rights under the statute. The amendment applies to all contracts and agreements entered into, renewed, modified, or amended on or after the effective date, March 18, 2019.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 20, 2019
As expected, on March 18, 2019, Governor Murphy added New Jersey to the growing list of states that have chosen to legislate significant contractual limitations upon an employer’s right to enter into certain nondisclosure agreements (NDAs). In addition, Governor Murphy’s recent signing of S. 121 (“the Act”), now places the Garden State in the shark pool attacking the permissibility of alternative dispute resolution proceedings (i.e., mandatory arbitration agreements) related to discrimination, retaliation, and/or harassment claims.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • March 20, 2019
In response to the #MeToo movement, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a controversial bill on March 18, 2019 banning mandatory nondisclosure clauses in employment contracts and settlement agreements involving workplace discrimination, retaliation, and harassment claims.
FordHarrison LLP • March 19, 2019
Executive Summary: Effective immediately, an amendment to New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) signed into law on March 18, 2019, invalidates any provision of an employment agreement which “waives any substantive or procedural right or remedy” under the State’s broad anti-discrimination laws. The amendment also invalidates confidentiality and non-disclosure provisions in any employment contract or settlement agreement.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 17, 2019
The New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) has revised the state equal pay law’s reporting requirements for employers that provide qualifying services or perform public works (e.g., construction, demolition, repairs, and so on) to New Jersey and its agencies to clarify which employees must be included in the annual reporting.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 17, 2019
Do employees in New Jersey owe a duty of loyalty to employers, even without a written employment agreement? Eliminating any possible doubt, the New Jersey Appellate Division answered, emphatically, yes.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 14, 2019
New Jersey has enacted an omnibus law that expands significantly protections and benefits for employees under the state’s laws providing unpaid family leave, domestic or sexual violence safety leave, and temporary paid family leave insurance.
Fisher Phillips • March 14, 2019
An amendment to New Jersey’s data breach notification requirements of the Consumer Fraud Act is currently awaiting signature by State Governor Phil Murphy. The bill, Assembly No. 3245, was recently passed by both the New Jersey Senate and Assembly.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 12, 2019
Since the start of 2019, New Jersey has shown it is on the forefront of consumer privacy and security law. Last week we reported on Assembly Bill 3245 (AB 3245) that would enhance the state’s data breach notification requirements. In short, if signed, AB 3245, would require businesses to notify consumers of online account security breaches. This week, we are reporting on other related Assembly bills recently introduced including AB 4902, which creates new obligations for commercial entities whose online website or services are accessed by individuals, and AB 7974 that regulates the use of a customer’s GPS data.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 12, 2019
New Jersey has joined a growing list of states considering legislation on data privacy to promote transparency, accountability, and individual choice. One bill would create new obligations for commercial entities whose online website or services collect personally identifiable information (PII) from individuals in New Jersey. A second bill would regulate an operator’s use of global positioning system (GPS) data belonging to a customer in New Jersey.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 07, 2019
In light of several large-scale breaches of late, the New Jersey General Assembly is taking steps to enhance the state’s data breach notification requirements. In late February, Assembly Bill 3245 (AB 3245), introduced by Assembly Members Ralph Caputo and Carol Murphy, was unanimously approved by both the Assembly and the Senate, and is now headed to Governor Phil Murphy for signing. In short, if signed, AB 3245, would require businesses to notify consumers of online account security breaches.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 27, 2019
Declaring it the “most expansive paid family leave time and benefits in the nation,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill (AB) 3975 into law on February 19, 2019. AB 3975 significantly expands the scope of the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law (NJTDBL), by, among other things, imposing new obligations on smaller employers that were not previously covered by the NJFLA. The new law also amends New Jersey’s Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act by granting paid family temporary disability leave benefits to covered time off relating to domestic and sexual violence. AB 3975 went into effect immediately, but some of its provisions will be phased in over time.
Fisher Phillips • February 25, 2019
New Jersey’s governor just approved a significant expansion of the state’s leave laws, permitting employees job-protected leave for a variety of new reasons while expanding available state-provided, income-replacement benefits. The February 19 action by Governor Phil Murphy expands existing job-protected leave under the Family Leave and SAFE Acts, and available benefits under Family Leave Insurance.
FordHarrison LLP • February 21, 2019
Executive Summary: On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law legislation that significantly expands an employee’s right to unpaid and paid leave under New Jersey’s existing Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”), Temporary Disability Benefits Law (“NJTDL”), and Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“SAFE Act”). These amendments will have a significant effect upon employers in New Jersey, who should review their current policies and procedures immediately to ensure compliance.
FordHarrison LLP • February 19, 2019
Executive Summary: On February 15, 2019, New Jersey’s governor and leaders of the State senate and assembly reached an agreement for legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adult recreational use. The proposed legislation remains largely unchanged from Senate Bill 2703, introduced on June 7, 2018.
Ogletree Deakins • February 15, 2019
New Jersey has joined the ranks of California, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia in requiring a phased increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour as a result of a bill (A-15/S-15) signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Monday, February 4, 2019. The law will raise the minimum wage rate from the current rate of $8.85 per hour to at least $15.00 an hour by 2024. After 2024, it will increase annually based on changes in the consumer price index. Noticeably absent from the new law is an off-ramp from this policy that would allow the wage hikes to be suspended in the event of a recession or budgetary crunch.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • February 06, 2019
In Bedoya v. American Eagle Express Inc., the Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not preempt New Jersey’s wage and hour laws, permitting delivery drivers to continue with a suit claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors. As a result of this decision, motor carriers located in states within the Third Circuit (Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) will need to ensure their relationships with drivers classified as independent contractors satisfy the so-called "ABC" test.
Fisher Phillips • January 23, 2019
ew Jersey is likely to follow California, Massachusetts, and New York in gradually raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin agreed on a proposal with Governor Phil Murphy last week, which could see the increase passed into law around the end of the month, soon after full Senate and Assembly sessions are scheduled to convene. What do New Jersey employers need to know about this proposal?
Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 14, 2019
A new sick leave law is in effect in New Jersey. The law applies to all private sector employers with employees in NJ, regardless of size. It provides paid sick leave (PSL) to almost all private sector full-time and part-time employees who work in NJ (excluding construction employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement and per diem health care employees). The sick leave law took effect on October 29, 2018. In light of the law’s significant penalties (including the ability of employees to sue employers in court for violations and obtain liquidated damages), employers should ensure their NJ employees are accruing and using paid time off in compliance with the Earned Sick Leave Law.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • January 08, 2019
On December 17, 2018, the New Jersey Legislature paved the way for a game-changing prerequisite for N.J. public works contractors. The State Assembly and Senate passed Assembly Bill A-3666 and forwarded it to Governor Murphy for his signature. If signed into law as is expected, the bill—which would impose new apprenticeship and training requirements on public works contractors—would be among the most restrictive of its kind in the country. Governor Murphy has until the end of January to sign the legislation, which would become effective 90 days thereafter.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • December 18, 2018
It started in June 2018 with a hotel bellman’s claiming in court that he had injured his abdomen, back, and shoulder while picking up luggage and ended in September 2018 with our attorneys’ convincing a judge to dismiss the man’s workers’ compensation claim.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • December 05, 2018
In a recent appellate court opinion of first impression in New Jersey, the Appellate Division reversed a trial court’s order compelling arbitration and found the parties’ failure to identify any arbitration forum or the process for choosing that forum was not a “meeting of minds.” Pursuant to basic principles of contract law, the Appellate Division invalidated the arbitration clause.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 27, 2018
The New Jersey Appellate Division recently issued a decision adding yet another hurdle for employers in the Garden State to overcome in drafting and enforcing arbitration agreements. In Flanzman v. Jenny Craig, Inc.,1 the court found that because an arbitration agreement did not establish the forum for the arbitration, the agreement lacked sufficient details to establish the “meeting of the minds” component crucial to rendering it enforceable. As a result of this decision, employers operating in New Jersey should consider taking a fresh look at their arbitration agreements to ensure they include the necessary provisions.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 02, 2018
New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJ DOL) created a webpage concerning the state’s paid sick and safe time law, which took effect on October 29, 2018. Available online resources on the page include the mandatory notice in English and 12 other languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Guajarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Tagalog.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 28, 2018
Just days before New Jersey’s paid sick and safe time (PSST) law is set to take effect on October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help employers comply with the new law, as proposed regulations implementing the law likely will not be finalized until 2019.
Fisher Phillips • October 26, 2018
Just a few short days before the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act will become law, requiring New Jersey employers of all sizes to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document aimed at addressing unanswered questions about the law. This comes on the heels of the agency publishing a mandatory workplace poster and a set of proposed regulations.
Fisher Phillips • October 15, 2018
n just a few short weeks, New Jersey employers will be required to comply with the state’s new Paid Sick Leave Act. Once October 29 is upon us, New Jersey employers of all sizes will need to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees. In advance of the impending effective date, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) has just published both a mandatory workplace poster and a set of sweeping regulations covering the new law—and you’ll want to familiarize yourself with both.
Ogletree Deakins • October 08, 2018
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018. We have received hundreds of questions in the last few weeks from employers seeking guidance on what they must do to comply with the law in advance of its looming effective date.
Ogletree Deakins • October 03, 2018
On October 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) released on its website the required notice that must be posted and distributed to all New Jersey employees under the New Jersey paid sick leave law. You can find a copy of the notice on the NJDOL’s website.
FordHarrison LLP • September 24, 2018
On September 12, 2018, New Jersey’s Senate offered proposed amendments to S. 2701, inching the New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Act toward enactment.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 23, 2018
Proposed regulations on the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (NJPSLA) were released by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) on September 18, 2018. The NJPSLA will go into effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed Regulations address some questions created by the Act, but leave others unanswered.
Ogletree Deakins • September 18, 2018
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) recently issued proposed regulations to implement the New Jersey paid sick leave law (PSLL), which goes into effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed regulations address many questions New Jersey employers have about the new law, but other areas of uncertainty remain.
Ogletree Deakins • September 12, 2018
On August 10, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation allowing striking workers to collect unemployment benefits under several new and potentially expansive circumstances. The new law applies to all New Jersey employers and any claim for unemployment benefits for a period of unemployment commencing on or after July 1, 2018.
FordHarrison LLP • August 21, 2018
Executive Summary: In Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packing, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135194 (D.N.J. Aug. 10, 2018), a case of first impression, the federal district court held that neither New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) nor Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) require an employer to waive a drug test as a condition of employment. The court dismissed claims of discrimination, retaliation, and failure to accommodate the plaintiff’s disability.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 19, 2018
On Friday, August 10, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill amending the State’s unemployment insurance law to provide benefits to employees in a variety of new and, in some cases, novel circumstances. Specifically, the new law provides for unemployment insurance benefits to be paid: (a) when a labor dispute prompting the employee’s period of unemployment is caused by an employer’s failure or refusal to comply with an agreement or contract with the employee, including a collective bargaining agreement with the employee’s union, or the employer’s failure or refusal to comply with State or federal laws related to hours, wages or other conditions of work; (b) after 30 days, when unemployment is caused by a strike or other concerted activities by employees; and/or (c) immediately, when the employer of striking workers opts to hire permanent replacement workers, as permitted under the National Labor Relations Act.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 15, 2018
A federal court in New Jersey has held that neither the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (“NJCUMMA”) nor the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) compels an employer to waive its requirements for employees to pass drug tests, even when those drug tests include testing for marijuana. Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packing, CV-18-1037 (D.N.J. August 10, 2018).
FordHarrison LLP • August 14, 2018
Executive Summary: Just months after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 25 establishing a task force to combat employee misclassification, the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) entered into a cooperation agreement with the US Department of Labor (USDOL) to work together to fight worker misclassification.
Ogletree Deakins • July 08, 2018
On January 16, 2018, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy was sworn in as the 56th governor of the State of New Jersey, replacing Republican former governor Chris Christie. As reflected in the Report of the Labor and Workforce Development Transition Advisory Committee, Governor Murphy’s administration is poised to advance legislation that will have a significant impact on employers doing business in New Jersey. From raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour to curbing employee misclassification abuse, employers large and small can expect new legislation impacting the employer-employee relationship. In fact, in just his first six months in office, Governor Murphy has already signed into law one of the most expansive pay equity laws in the nation as well as a law that provides paid sick leave for New Jersey employees.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 10, 2018
The New Jersey Senate has passed a bill that would prohibit jury waivers and agreements that conceal the details of discrimination claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. § 10:5-1, et seq. (LAD). The bill, which passed by a vote of 34-1, also would call into question the enforceability of agreements to arbitrate LAD claims. The significant support it received in the Senate may signal quick passage in the Assembly and the likelihood of signature by the Governor.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 30, 2018
The New Jersey State Bar Association recently met to discuss, among other things, our favorite topic: Cybersecurity. (Perhaps our esteemed Privacy, e-Communication and Data Security Practice Group chair was there….) We wanted to briefly mention two critical points discussed:
Ogletree Deakins • May 06, 2018
On May 2, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that requires New Jersey employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Once enacted, New Jersey will join nine other states and the District of Columbia in requiring paid sick leave. The law will become effective on October 29, 2018. The key provisions of the law and their impact on employers doing business in New Jersey are summarized below.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • May 06, 2018
On May 2, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Days Act, which requires all New Jersey employers to provide earned sick leave to all employees. The law will take effect on October 30, 2018.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 03, 2018
Expanding employee protections in New Jersey is on the agenda for the overwhelming party-majorities in the Senate and the Assembly in the Legislature and for Governor Phil Murphy. In the latest development, Governor Murphy signed The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act on May 2, 2018. The bill passed by 2-1 margins in both houses. The Paid Sick Leave Act will go into effect on October 29, 2018, 180 days after enactment.
FordHarrison LLP • May 03, 2018
Executive Summary: On May 2, 2018, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that requires New Jersey businesses to provide covered employees with paid sick leave. The Act preempts local sick leave ordinances currently enacted by 13 New Jersey municipalities. Employers will need to conform their leave policies within 180 days of this enactment.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 02, 2018
Under new regulation, hotels and motels in New Jersey must train employees on human trafficking. Training includes posting an informational human trafficking poster and ensuring certain hotel and motel employees view an informational video on human trafficking as a condition of employment. The regulation applies to all hotels and motels, regardless of the number of employees employed.
Fisher Phillips • May 02, 2018
New Jersey has now become the tenth state to enact a statewide mandatory paid sick leave law. The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act was signed into law today by Governor Phil Murphy and will go into effect on October 29, 2018. Once effective, it will require New Jersey employers of all sizes to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to covered employees.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 30, 2018
On the heels of signing equal pay legislation which will substantially expand pay equity protections for New Jersey employees,1 Governor Phil Murphy tweeted that he will sign a statewide paid sick leave bill on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Once he does so, New Jersey will become the 10th state with a paid sick leave law, furthering a nationwide trend that has been gathering steam for the past several years. The new law explicitly preempts 13 existing local paid sick leave ordinances and creates a statewide obligation. While many provisions mirror existing local requirements, there are several key differences. The law will take effect 180 days after the governor signs the bill, which is projected to be October 29, 2018.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 26, 2018
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act into law on April 24, 2018. The Act will take effect on July 1, 2018. The new law contains sweeping changes to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), including a prohibition against discrimination with respect to compensation or financial terms of employment, a six-year statute of limitations, and treble damages for violators. For details of the Act, see our article, Double Take: New Jersey Governor Poised to Enact Equal Pay Act.
Fisher Phillips • April 18, 2018
New Jersey will become the latest state to mandate a comprehensive equal pay law as Governor Phil Murphy announced that he will sign the “Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act”—recently passed by the state legislature—on April 24, 2018. What makes this law different and more robust than laws in other states is that the New Jersey equal pay law will soon extend legal protections beyond gender and provide relief to all classes of employees protected under the state’s antidiscrimination law.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 15, 2018
On April 12, 2018, the New Jersey State Senate, by a vote of 24-12, passed the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act (the “Act”). The Act, which passed the Assembly last month by a 50-24 margin, requires businesses of all sizes to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to employees during an employer-established benefit year. The Act, which Governor Phil Murphy pledged to sign, expressly preempts municipal paid sick leave ordinances passed in cities and towns such as Newark, Morristown, and Paterson, in an effort to provide uniform obligations to businesses operating within the State. The Act includes the following provisions:
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 15, 2018
On April 24, 2018, National Equal Pay Day, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy plans to sign the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the “Act”) into law. Senate Bill S-104, reintroduced in this legislative session, contains sweeping changes to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) including, among other items, a prohibition against discrimination with respect to compensation or financial terms of employment on the basis of a protected trait, a six (6) year statute of limitations, and treble damages against any business that violates the Act.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • April 05, 2018
On March 26, 2018, the New Jersey legislature passed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). With Governor Phil Murphy’s signature, the act — which exceeds the protections of the federal Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, and addresses issues broader than gender pay equity — will take effect on July 1, 2018.
FordHarrison LLP • April 02, 2018
Executive Summary: On March 26, 2018, the New Jersey legislature overwhelmingly passed amendments to the state discrimination law, including additional pay equity protections. The bill now goes to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk, who has indicated he will sign it into law. If signed, it would be one of the broadest equal pay statutes in the country. This legislation would make it unlawful for anyone who is in a “protected class” to receive lower pay or benefits for substantially similar work, unless the employer can demonstrate this differential is based on criteria permitted under the law.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 28, 2018
On March 26, 2018, the New Jersey legislature enacted amendments to existing statutes substantially expanding pay equity protections for New Jersey employees and giving rise to significant compliance and defense burdens for New Jersey employers. Newly elected Governor Phil Murphy is expected to sign the legislation, which will take effect on July 1, 2018.
FordHarrison LLP • February 11, 2018
Executive Summary: New Jersey extends workplace protections to breastfeeding mothers, requiring employers of all sizes to provide employees with time and space to express breastmilk.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 26, 2018
A bill to increase the hourly cash minimum wage paid to tipped employees in New Jersey has been introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 17, 2018
In his first official act upon taking office, newly elected Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order barring state agencies from asking job applicants about wage history. Former Governor Chris Christie previously vetoed legislation that would have prohibited employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees.
FordHarrison LLP • January 09, 2018
Executive Summary: On January 4, 2018—just days after California began selling recreational marijuana and became poised to become the largest legal market for the drug in the U.S.—the Department of Justice changed tactics on marijuana enforcement by rescinding the “Cole Memo” and other internal guidelines. Issued in 2013, the Cole Memo de-prioritized federal marijuana enforcement efforts to, among other things, prevent distribution of marijuana to minors; prevent marijuana revenue from funding criminal enterprises; prevent marijuana from moving from legal states; and prevent violence related to growing or distributing marijuana.
Fisher Phillips • January 09, 2018
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie began his final week in office by signing 40 bills into law, including an amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination that immediately bars discrimination against breastfeeding employees. The new law also requires employers to provide such employees with reasonable accommodation. New Jersey employers should take steps to familiarize themselves with the new legal requirements and adjust policies and practices to ensure compliance.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 04, 2018
New Jersey has amended its “ban-the-box” law to prohibit inquiries into a job applicant’s expunged criminal record during the initial employment application process.
Ogletree Deakins • January 02, 2018
As 2017 comes to a close, we remind New Jersey employers to take note of the state’s minimum wage increase, effective January 1, 2018, and to tend to some notice and poster housekeeping.
Ogletree Deakins • January 02, 2018
On December 20, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law Senate Bill 3306, which expands the state’s ban-the-box law by explicitly prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s expunged criminal history.
FordHarrison LLP • December 18, 2017
Executive Summary: On December 11, 2017, the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Aaron Fichtner (the “Commissioner”), ruled that the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law’s (NJUCL) exemption for owner-operators not only applied to the case at bar, but also that satisfaction of the IRS test for independence is sufficient to demonstrate that the services performed by owner-operators were exempt from NJUCL coverage. The Commissioner’s decision clarified the applicability of the owner-operator exemption for motor carriers, rejected the argument that a formal IRS determination is needed to satisfy the exemption, and reversed hundreds of thousands of dollars of assessments rendered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 07, 2017
A bill in the New Jersey State Senate would effectively prohibit jury waivers, arbitration clauses, and non-disclosure provisions related to claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. § 10:5-1, et seq. (LAD).
Ogletree Deakins • November 20, 2017
On November 9, 2017, the New Jersey Senate introduced Senate Bill 3518, which would drastically limit an employer’s ability to enter into, and subsequently enforce, restrictive covenants (or “non-compete” agreements) with employees. The bill would also impose certain notice and monetary obligations on employers that seek to enforce restrictive covenants against their former employees. If passed, Senate Bill 3518 will have a dramatic impact on a New Jersey employer’s ability to protect its legitimate business interests and prevent unfair competition by former employees.
FordHarrison LLP • November 15, 2017
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 22, 2017
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.
FordHarrison LLP • August 14, 2017
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.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • August 13, 2017
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • July 19, 2017
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 04, 2017
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 30, 2017
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:
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 28, 2017
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).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 28, 2017
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 14, 2017
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
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 10, 2017
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.
FordHarrison LLP • February 15, 2017
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.
Ogletree Deakins • January 30, 2017
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.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 06, 2017
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.)
Ogletree Deakins • December 30, 2016
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.
FordHarrison LLP • December 12, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 2016
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 28, 2016
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.
Fisher Phillips • October 05, 2016
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.
Fisher Phillips • October 03, 2016
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • September 28, 2016
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.
Fisher Phillips • July 25, 2016
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.
Fisher Phillips • June 17, 2016
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.).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 07, 2016
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 01, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • May 01, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 05, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 09, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 07, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 02, 2016
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)
Ogletree Deakins • January 07, 2016
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 30, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 30, 2015
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.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • December 29, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 23, 2015
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 22, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 22, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 22, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 18, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 18, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 18, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 17, 2015
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).
Ogletree Deakins • December 08, 2015
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • November 13, 2015
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.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • November 10, 2015
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
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 30, 2015
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.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 01, 2015
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).
Ogletree Deakins • August 21, 2015
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).
Ogletree Deakins • August 21, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • August 21, 2015
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.
FordHarrison LLP • July 16, 2015
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.
FordHarrison LLP • July 09, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 03, 2015
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:
FordHarrison LLP • February 23, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • February 13, 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.
Fisher Phillips • February 04, 2015
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.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 30, 2015
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.
FordHarrison LLP • January 15, 2015
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 29, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 15, 2014
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.
Ogletree Deakins • November 19, 2014
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.
Ogletree Deakins • November 10, 2014
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.
Ogletree Deakins • 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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 19, 2014
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.
Ogletree Deakins • 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 ;
FordHarrison LLP • February 10, 2014
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.
Ogletree Deakins • January 14, 2014
Various articles discussing employment law in New Jersey.
Ogletree Deakins • December 03, 2013
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • September 20, 2013
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.
Ogletree Deakins • September 19, 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.
FordHarrison LLP • July 22, 2013
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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 22, 2013
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 08, 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
Ogletree Deakins • December 17, 2012
Updates in New Jersey employment law.
FordHarrison LLP • October 17, 2012
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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 16, 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
Goldberg Segalla LLP • October 09, 2012
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.
Ogletree Deakins • September 17, 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
Ogletree Deakins • August 17, 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
FordHarrison LLP • July 19, 2012
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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 17, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 11, 2012
New Jersey Bill Would Dramatically Expand Employers’ Notice Distribution Obligations; New Jersey Bills Seek to Prohibit Employers from Requiring or Obtaining Credit Checks.
Ogletree Deakins • May 15, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 05, 2012
Bill Seeks to More Than Double the Minimum Wage for Tipped Workers by July 2013; â€œSave New Jersey Call Center Jobs Actâ€ 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 Employeeâ€™s Multiple Requests For Accommodation; Appellate Division Finds Single Anti-Semitic Email Insufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment.
New Jerseyâ€™s Corporation Business Tax Held Applicable to Foreign Corporations With a
Ogletree Deakins • March 08, 2012
Governor Vetos â€œMarriage Equality and Religious Exemption Actâ€;
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 Attorneysâ€™ Fees Enhancements Under the NJLAD Reaffirmed.
Ogletree Deakins • February 13, 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 Workersâ€™ Compensation Increased for 2012
Bills Introduced to Increase Minimum Wage to $8.50 Effective July 1, 2012
Bills Introduced to Limit Employersâ€™ 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 Workersâ€™ 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 Employeeâ€™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
Ogletree Deakins • December 19, 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 â€œInside Salesâ€ 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; â€œProfessional Exemptionâ€ Under NJ Wage and Hour Law Applies to Employees Paid.
Fisher Phillips • November 18, 2011
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.
Ogletree Deakins • November 09, 2011
New Mandatory Poster and Notice Issued by NJDOL; â€œInside Salesâ€ Exemption Inadvertently Omitted in New NJ Wage and Hour Regulations; Senate Approves â€œNew Jersey Trade Secrets Actâ€; 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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 05, 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 â€œWage Protection Actâ€ 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
Ogletree Deakins • April 25, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 16, 2011
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Proposes Amendments to Disability Discrimination Regulations; Governor Signs Bill Concerning Indemnification of Corporate Officers; Assembly Approves Governorâ€™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 Companyâ€™s Retention Policy; Employerâ€™s Improper Termination of ERISA Benefits Warrants Retroactive Reinstatement of Benefits; Employee Barred From Bringing Tort Action Against Workersâ€™ Compensation Carrier for Delay or Denial of Treatment.
Ogletree Deakins • February 18, 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 â€œSafety -Sensitiveâ€ Positions; Successor Employer May Be Liable for ERISA Contributions Where It Had Prior Notice of the Liability.
Ogletree Deakins • February 02, 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 Jerseyâ€™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 Plaintiffâ€™s Harassment Claims Preempted by Section 301; Corporate Officers May Be Liable for Aiding or Abetting an â€œEmployerâ€; 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 Applicantâ€™s Bankruptcy History in Hiring Decisions.
Ogletree Deakins • December 28, 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
Ogletree Deakins • November 22, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 29, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • September 22, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • August 16, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 15, 2010
Updates on New Jersey employment law.
Ogletree Deakins • June 24, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • May 24, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 09, 2010
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 11, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • February 02, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • January 15, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 21, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • November 12, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 12, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • September 11, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • August 13, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 13, 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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 11, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • May 13, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 14, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • March 31, 2009
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
Ogletree Deakins • February 13, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • February 13, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • February 13, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2009
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 16, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 16, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 16, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • December 16, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • November 14, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • October 23, 2008
“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
Ogletree Deakins • August 05, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • August 05, 2008
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".
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
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).
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
A bill (A2243) recently was introduced to accelerate the process for resolving contract negotiations between public employers and police and fire unions.
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
An Assembly bill (A2885) introduced on June 5 would give greater flexibility to corporations in granting equity awards to employees.
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • July 03, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2008
Senate bill S1262, which would prohibit public entities and public employees from entering into confidential court settlements of claims.
Ogletree Deakins • June 09, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 04, 2008
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.
Ogletree Deakins • April 01, 2008
Plaintiff alleged that he was unlawfully terminated after complaining that his employer had been making improper payments to foreign officials.
Ogletree Deakins • April 01, 2008
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.
Fisher Phillips • January 10, 2008
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).
Ogletree Deakins • January 08, 2008
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.