A New Jersey federal court recently granted a defendant-company’s motion to compel arbitration pursuant to a non-compete agreement between the plaintiff-company and two former employees who had discontinued employment with the plaintiff and went to work for the defendant. The case is Precision Funding Group, LLC v. National Fidelity Mortgage, Civ. No. 12-5054 (RMB/JS), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76609, 2013 WL 2404151 (D.N.J. May 31, 2013).
Articles About New Jersey Labor And Employment Law.
A bill that would “invalidate” non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements entered into between an employer and its former employee, if the former employee is eligible for unemployment benefits following the cessation of his or her employment, has been introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly. Assembly Bill 3970 would apply only to agreements entered into after the legislation was enacted.
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.
Executive Summary: New Jersey legislators have proposed making a variety of post-employment restrictive covenants unenforceable where the employee is eligible for unemployment benefits. Many high-level sales employees and employees with specialized technical knowledge are subject to such restrictions, which range from limiting competition with a former employer to prohibiting disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information learned during employment.
A bill was recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate that would significantly restrict an employer’s ability to ask about and consider a current or future employee’s criminal history in the employment process. Bill No. S.2586, also known as the Opportunity to Compete Act (OCA) or “Ban the Box” bill, would prohibit private and public New Jersey employers from directly or indirectly inquiring about a candidate’s criminal history until after a “conditional offer of employment” has been made.
The “Opportunity to Compete Act,” a New Jersey Senate bill (S.2586), seeks to establish “certain employment rights for persons with criminal histories.” Citing the dramatic increase in employers’ use of criminal background checks, the bill declares that employment barriers based upon criminal backgrounds has a disproportionate effect on racial and ethnic minorities.
New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie has vetoed legislation passed by the New Jersey Senate and Assembly (S3/A2162) that would have raised the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour and based future increases on the consumer price index (CPI). While issuing his conditional veto on January 28, 2013, Governor Christie proposed a $1-an-hour raise in the minimum wage that would be phased in with a 25-cent increase this year, a 50-cent increase in 2014, and another 25-cent increase in 2015. He also proposed a 25-percent increase to the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, which would be implemented fully in taxable year 2014. The Governor’s office stated that the EITC increase would provide a $550 benefit for struggling working families.
Executive Summary: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has conditionally vetoed a $1.25 minimum wage hike, instead proposing a $1.00 increase that will phase in over three years.
In January 2012, New Jersey enacted its version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). On December 7, 2012, in SCS Healthcare Marketing, LLC v. Allergan USA, Inc., a New Jersey Superior Court recognized that the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (NJTSA) modifies the Uniform Trade Secrets Act to preserve New Jersey’s non-conflicting common law relating to trade secrets.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce is proposing new workplace notification rules requiring employers with at least 50 employees to post conspicuously a notification informing workers of their rights to be free from gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits, or other employment terms and conditions under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 on January 7, 2013. A proposed “form of notification” also was published on January 7.
The New Jersey Senate has approved a bill (S3) that would raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour and base future increases on the consumer price index (CPI). The proposed measure now heads to the state Assembly. The Assembly approved an almost identical bill earlier this year. If S3 becomes law, the wage increase would take effect on March 1, 2013, and the CPI provision would go into effect on January 1, 2014.
A workplace policy requiring all employees who self-identify as in need of substance abuse treatment to submit to random alcohol testing following their return to work constitutes disability discrimination on its face, according to a recent published decision of the New Jersey Appellate Division, A.D.P. v. ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Co., No. A-4806-10T4 (Oct. 26, 2012).
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.
When natural disaster strikes New Jersey, the Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who live or work in affected areas of New Jersey and become unemployed as a result of the damage. The process begins with the Governor making a request to the Department for Labor to make the benefits available to individuals in qualifying counties of the state. Upon approval by the DOL, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance may obtain those benefits through the program. After the initial approval by the DOL, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) may approve additional counties for the special benefits program. Prior to Hurricane Sandy, the benefits were last made available after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
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.