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New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law -- Proposed Regulations Issued

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.

New Jersey Law Expands Striking Workers’ Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits and Imposes Penalties for Hiring Permanent Replacements

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.

Common Sense Prevails: Waiving a Drug Test as a Condition of Employment is Not a Reasonable Accommodation

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.

No Dire Straits for Workers Involved in Labor Disputes in N.J. as Governor Expands Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits

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.

New Jersey Law Does Not Require Employers To Accommodate Medical Marijuana Users By Waiving Drug Tests

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).

New Jersey Enters Partnership with USDOL To Fight Worker Misclassification

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.

New Jersey Mandates Drug Testing Of Direct Support Staff

All applicants and employees working in any New Jersey Department of Human Services (“DHS”) funded, licensed or regulated program serving adults with developmental disabilities are subject to mandatory drug testing, effective May 1, 2018. Under the Stephen Komninos’ Law, New Jersey Public Law 2017, Chapter 238, covered employers are required to administer pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug testing. The law does not require alcohol testing.

Is Your Sexual Harassment Policy Worth The Paper It Is Printed On?

In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, in a time when #MeToo has significantly affected the national discourse and new harassment allegations are leveled against powerful individuals on a near-daily basis, it is more crucial than ever for companies to adopt and maintain compliant anti-(sexual) harassment policies. However, it is not enough to simply have a harassment-free policy on the books or digitally. The policy must be promulgated and implemented effectively. Otherwise, the company risks being found liable for its employees’ inappropriate conduct.

The Latest Buzz: New Jersey Employer Must Reimburse Injured Employee for Cost of Medical Marijuana

Executive Summary: Rejecting Freehold Township’s claim the entire case was barred by the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), a workers’ compensation judge ruled the municipality must reimburse its employee for the cost of medical marijuana to treat his work-related injury. This contrasts with a recent decision from Maine’s highest court, which held that compliance with an administrative order compelling an employer to subsidize an employee’s use of medical marijuana constitutes aiding and abetting, which is a violation of the CSA.

New Jersey 2018 Legislative Update: 11 Bills That Employers Should Watch

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.