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.
Articles Discussing General Issues In New Jersey Labor & Employment Law.
New Jersey Employers Must Provide Unpaid Leave to Victims of Domestic Violence under New Law
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.
Legal Alert: New Jersey Enacts Domestic Violence Leave Law; Effective Nov. 1, 2013, Employers Must Provide 20 Days’ Leave for Victims
Executive Summary: A bill providing protected leave to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault has been signed into law and is expected to take effect on November 1, 2013. The new law will require New Jersey employers with 25 or more employees to provide 20 days of job-protected leave to eligible employees.
New Jersey Governor Vetoes Bill to Expand Public Labor Agreements
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.
New Jersey Senate Approves Bill Restricting Access to Employees’ Social Networking Information
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.
Newark, New Jersey Enacts Ban-the-Box Criminal Conviction Legislation Applicable to Private Sector Employers
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.
Proposed NJ Law Would Impact Certain Independent Contractors
Executive Summary: On September 27, 2012, two members of the New Jersey Assembly introduced Assembly Bill 3310, which authorizes the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to investigate, mediate and prosecute claims by certain independent contractors that they were not properly paid in their transactions with businesses and non-profits. The bill imposes additional record-keeping requirements on businesses and non-profits that contract with certain independent contractors and establishes civil and criminal penalties for violations of the law. If passed, this law would create a minefield for all businesses and non-profits in New Jersey who use independent contractors and could severely hurt New Jersey sole proprietors.
New Jersey Facebook Bill Advances and Could Expose Employers to Additional Liability
New Jersey may soon join the ranks of other states that prohibit or seriously limit an employer’s right to request a current employee or applicant’s password, username, or similar information to social media websites such as Facebook. Unfortunately, the proposed New Jersey legislation as currently written will provide applicants and current employees with a potential new cause of action to assert against companies.
Make Room on Your Bulletin Board – New Jersey Mandates New Notice Requirement for Employers
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.
Legal Alert: What to Watch in New Jersey – Pending Legislation
Several bills are pending before the New Jersey legislature that, if enacted, could significantly impact New Jersey employers. This Alert highlights some of the more significant bills.
Make Room on Your Bulletin Board for New Jersey Labor Departmentâ€™s New Notice
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.
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Requires New Handout/Poster
In 2009, New Jersey passed a law requiring the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (â€œDLWDâ€) to issue regulations providing that any employer who is required to maintain and report records regarding wages, benefits, and taxes pursuant to state law â€œshall conspicuously post notificationâ€ of the obligation to maintain and report those records.
New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Employee’s Pilfering Confidential Employer Records in Discrimination Suit.
The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled 5-2 that an employee who engages in self-help and circumvents the pretrial discovery process by secretly copying her employer’s records for use in a discrimination lawsuit may be insulated from discipline and/or termination. The Court’s decision in Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright Corp., No. A-51-09 (Dec. 2, 2010), adopting a totality-of-circumstances approach, gives employees who believe they were discriminated against more legal protections than ever while making it more difficult for employers to respond to employee misconduct.