NJ Labor And Employment Law

The New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Blog is authored by Jay S. Becker and Joseph C. DeBlasio, shareholders in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, with support from the associates in the Group. It is dedicated to provide news and updates regarding all labor and employment matters throughout New Jersey.

NJ Court Further Limits Ability To Classify Workers As Independent Contractors

February 18, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

A recent ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court in the matter Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC has held that the strict “ABC” test must be used for determining whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor for wage and hour purposes. This is bad news for NJ employers who will now find it even harder to effectively classify workers as independent contractors. As a result of this ruling, employers should expect an increase in claims alleging that they have failed to properly pay wages and overtime to individuals misclassified as independent contractors. Read more

NJ Supreme Court Strengthens Defenses Available to NJ Employers In Sexual Harassment Actions

February 13, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

In a landmark decision that will have profound and beneficial effects on New Jersey employers, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Aguas v. State of New Jersey has adopted the two part analysis set forth by the US Supreme Court in Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742, (1998) and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998) when reviewing sexual harassment/hostile workplace claims. As a result, employers now, more than ever, may rely upon their anti-harassment policies as an affirmative defense to claims of negligence or vicarious liability brought by employees under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. Read more

New Law Requires NJ Employers To Revise Their Hiring Practices or Risk Fines of Up to $10,000 Per Violation

February 9, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

Effective March 1, 2015, the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, commonly referred to as the “Ban the Box” law will go into effect. The law will prohibit NJ employers with 15 or more employees from inquiring about a prospective employee’s criminal history in the initial employment application. Many employee applications often contain a box asking if the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. Under the Act, this will now be illegal. Read more

Snow Emergencies And Employee Compensation

January 28, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

Thanks to the recent snow event, businesses throughout New Jersey were closed. Employers will now have to ask themselves, which of their workers, if any, are entitled to be paid for the snow day. Read more

Paid Sick Leave…The Trend Continues

December 18, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Kelly Gunther

Co-Authored by Saranne E. Weimer

We previously blogged about the Jersey City and Newark Ordinances requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. [Jersey City Implements Paid Sick Leave Requirement and Newark City Council Introduces Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and Update: Jersey City Sick Leave Ordinance Posters Now Available For Employers ]. Several other municipalities have also passed similar ordinances a requiring sick leave. Consistent with this approach, the State of New Jersey appears to be moving closer to passing its own bill.

Read more

HO-HO- Holding! US Supreme Court Holds That Employers Do Not Have to Compensate Employees for Post-Shift Security Screening

December 12, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Ryan Carlson

Just in time for the holidays, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on December 9, 2014 that the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), which is the federal law governing the payment of wages and overtime, does not require employers to pay certain employees for time spent passing through security screening after shifts, even if it is required by the employer. Read more

Legalization of Marijuana Raises Significant Questions and Issues for Employers

December 9, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Jay S. Becker

The trend across the nation toward the legalization of marijuana on the state level continues to gain momentum. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia now have laws permitting the use of medical marijuana. In addition, 11 other states allow “low TCH, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for medical reasons in limited situations or as a legal defense. Moving the legalization trend even further, the states of Washington and Colorado also have laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana, and legislators in several other states are proposing similar recreational legislation. However, despite the growing trend towards legalization, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Not only is it illegal, it is classified as a Schedule I drug, which, under federal law, means the worst of the worst. Schedule I drugs are those with a high potential for abuse, severe dependency, and no acceptable medical use. To put it in perspective, other Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin, GHB, and Ecstasy.

For the full article, please click here.

GH&C Attorney Successful Before DOL/OSHA

November 20, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Jay S. Becker

Jay S. Becker, Esq. was successful on behalf of a corporate client in obtaining a dismissal of a retaliation/wrongful discharge claim filed by a former employee before the OSHA division of the federal Department of Labor.  The DOL/OSHA investigator determined that the evidence presented by Mr. Becker clearly illustrated that the termination of employment was for legitimate business reasons, and not motivated by an animosity towards any protected category.

NJ Employers: $8.38 Minimum Wage Effective January 1

October 1, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Saranne E. Weimer

As you may remember, in November 2013, voters approved an amendment to the New Jersey Constitution increasing the state minimum wage to $8.25.  The amendment also created annual cost of living increases, tied to the Consumer Price Index, to be added to the minimum wage each year.  The increases are calculated each September and take effect on the following January.  Therefore, effective January 1, 2015, New Jersey minimum wage will rise from $8.25 to $8.38.  Employers must ensure that all work performed by employees on and after January 1, 2015 is compensated at the increased rate.  Employers should be especially mindful of this change if January 1 falls in the middle of a pay period.

If you have any questions about the minimum wage increase, or any other labor and employment issues, contact the Labor and Employment Attorneys at Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla.

UPDATE: Governor Christie Vetoes Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against the Unemployed

August 25, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Ryan Carlson

On June 4, 2014, we blogged about the New Jersey Senate’s approval of a bill (S.1440) that would make it unlawful for New Jersey employers to discriminate against job applicants who are currently unemployed.  This prohibition would apply to the hiring process as well as to the setting of terms and conditions of employment. Read more

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