The New Jersey Department of Labor has issued the notice required to be posted under the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE” Act). The NJ SAFE Act goes into effect on October 1, 2013. The statute requires employers to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave during any 12-month period to eligible employees who have been the victim of an incident of domestic violence or a sexually violent offense or whose child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner was a victim of such an act. (For more on the NJ SAFE Act, please see New Jersey Employers Must Provide Unpaid Leave to Victims of Domestic Violence under New Law.)
Articles Discussing General Issues In New Jersey Labor & Employment Law.
On August 26, 2013, the New Jersey Appellate Division reversed a grant of summary judgment to an employer upon concluding, based on little more than the plaintiff’s self-serving statements, that its former employee’s detailed release of claims was not “knowing and voluntary.” Although this decision may later prove to be an outlier, it serves as a warning to employers of the highly critical manner in which some courts may scrutinize release agreements.
On August 29, 2013, New Jersey became the twelfth state to enact social media password protection legislation, continuing the nationwide trend towards imposing some form of restriction on employer access to the restricted, personal social media content of applicants and employees.1 The new law becomes effective on December 1, 2014. Two weeks earlier, Illinois amended its existing password protection law. The amendment narrows the law’s prohibitions so that the law does not impede financial services firms from monitoring their employees’ business-related communications in social media.
New Jersey has joined 12 other states in enacting a law that prohibits employers from requiring or requesting access to employees’ and applicants’ personal social media accounts. While New Jersey employers may continue to access and use any information about current employees and job hopefuls in the public domain, New Jersey Assembly Bill No. 2878 (“A2878”) prohibits employers from forcing their workers or job applicants to disclose personal information (such as usernames, passwords or other login information) for accessing accounts or services provided by websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The new law also forbids employers from retaliating against employees who refuse to provide login information to their social media accounts or who assist in the investigation or reporting of alleged violations of A2878. Signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 29, 2013, the new law becomes effective on December 1, 2013.
On July 17, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act). New Jersey joins 15 states, the District of Columbia, and a handful of local governments in providing victims of domestic violence or sexual assault with the right to take unpaid leave. Effective October 1, 2013, the NJ SAFE Act will provide eligible employees with unpaid time off to attend to a variety of matters related to an act of domestic violence or sexual assault committed against the employee or a family or household member.
Effective October 1, 2013, New Jersey employers will be required to provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for an eligible employee who is the victim of domestic violence or sexual assault or whose child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or civil union partner was the victim of such act. Leave may be taken for each incident of domestic violence and/or sexual violence. The new law, the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“NJ SAFE” Act), applies to employers with at least 25 employees.
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.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have expanded the definition of projects requiring greater use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) for New Jersey’s public works. Governor Christie cited the detrimental effect the bill (S2425) could have on the continued Hurricane Sandy repair efforts in issuing his absolute veto.
The New Jersey state Senate has advanced a key workplace measure that may significantly affect employers in the Garden State. In a unanimous 38-0 vote, the Senate has brought New Jersey one step closer to becoming the fourth state to limit employers’ access to the social networking accounts of current employees and job applicants.
The Municipal Council of the City of Newark, New Jersey has passed a new ordinance designed to help individuals with criminal convictions find employment within the City of Newark. This ordinance, effective November 18, 2012, is different from many other cities’ ban-the-box ordinances in that it covers all private sector employers with five or more employees and doing business, employing persons, or taking employment applications within the City of Newark. The ordinance also applies to the rental, lease or sublease of real property and licensing by the City.
Executive Summary: On September 27, 2012, two members of the New Jersey Assembly introduced Assembly Bill 3310, which authorizes the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to investigate, mediate and prosecute claims by certain independent contractors that they were not properly paid in their transactions with businesses and non-profits. The bill imposes additional record-keeping requirements on businesses and non-profits that contract with certain independent contractors and establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations of the law. If passed, this law would create a minefield for all businesses and non-profits in New Jersey who use independent contractors and could severely hurt New Jersey sole proprietors.
New Jersey 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.
The New Jersey State Assembly has passed and Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that will increase the requirements for employers to provide notice to employees of laws protecting them from wage and other discrimination because of gender. The new law (A2647) supplements the New Jersey Equal Pay Act and requires employers with 50 or more employees to “conspicuously post” a notification stating workers’ rights to be free from gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or other terms or conditions, under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Signed on September 21, 2012, the new law is scheduled to take effect 61 days from the date of its signing. However, the Commissioner of the Department of Labor still needs to develop and issue the form of notification required.
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.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (â€œNJDOLâ€) has placed new burdens on employers. A newly issued notice entitled, â€œEmployer Obligation to Maintain and Report Records,â€ requires employers to (1) post this notice immediately in the workplace; (2) provide each employee hired prior to November 7, 2011, a written copy of the notice no later than December 7, 2011; and (3) provide employees hired after November 7, 2011, a written copy of the notice at the time of hire. A copy of the Notice is available here.