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Two More New Jersey Towns Pass Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

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

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

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

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

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

New Jersey Minimum Wage to Increase in 2017

New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase from $8.38 per hour to $8.44 per hour effective January 1, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced.

'Garden Variety' Emotional Distress Damages in Employment Matters to ‘Bloom’ in New Jersey

The specific facts presented to the jury will determine whether an award of “garden variety” emotional distress damages is reasonable, the New Jersey Supreme Court has held in an employment discrimination case brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”). Cuevas v. Wentworth Group, A-30-14 (Sept. 19, 2016).

Delay For Morristown Paid Sick Leave Law

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

New Jersey Senate Approves Legislation Extending Unemployment Benefits to Striking Workers

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

Morristown, New Jersey, Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Effective 2017

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

Paid Sick Leave Comes To Morristown

On September 13, 2016, the Morristown Town Council passed Ordinance No. 35-2016, which will soon require all private employers in Morristown to provide paid sick time to employees. The ordinance goes into effect on October 4, 2016 for non-unionized employees, and at the expiration of any collective bargaining agreement currently in effect for unionized employees.

New Jersey Bill Seeks to Bar Pre-Hire Inquiries into Candidate Compensation History

The New Jersey State Assembly is considering a bill (A-4119) that would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) to prohibit an employer from seeking compensation information on a candidate. If passed, the legislation will affect the hiring process in New Jersey, including requiring changes to application materials, interview questions, and negotiations over compensation.