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.

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.

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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

EMPLOYERS BEWARE: New Jersey Implements New Law Governing Criminal Background Checks For Job Candidates Effective March15, 2015

August 14, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Jay S. Becker

Co-Authored By Ryan S. Carlson

On August 11, 2014, Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Opportunity to Compete Act, A-1999/S-2124 (commonly referred to as the “Ban the Box Law”), which sets forth new requirements governing criminal background checks by prospective employers for job candidates.

Effective March 15, 2015, the law applies to all New Jersey employers with 15 or more employees.  The law prohibits employers from inquiring about a job applicant’s criminal record until after the employer has conducted an initial interview of the applicant. According to the law, it will be illegal for employers to ask applicants whether they have been convicted of a crime on a job application, advertisement or during an initial interview, whether or not the interview is conducted in person or on other platforms such as by telephone or video conference.  After the initial interview, however, the law permits the employer to make any inquiries into the candidate’s criminal history.  The law also provides that an employer cannot refuse to hire an applicant based upon a criminal record that has been expunged or pardoned. Read more

Are College Athletes Students or Employees?

July 11, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Jay S. Becker

Players on the Northwestern University football team recently filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to organize for collective bargaining purposes. Are college athletes students or employees? Read more

New Jersey Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against The Unemployed Edges Closer To New Law

June 4, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Ryan Carlson

On May 12, 2014, the New Jersey Senate approved 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.

New Jersey law (NJSA 34:8B-1) currently prohibits employers from discriminating against unemployed persons in job postings or advertisements.  The proposed Bill, if passed, would expand protection to preclude discrimination of unemployed individuals with regard to hiring, compensation, or other terms, conditions or privileges of employment.  However, the Bill would not prohibit an employer from inquiring into an applicant’s employment history and the circumstances surrounding an applicant’s separation from prior employment. Read more

Joseph C. DeBlasio, Esq. To Speak at DRI’s 37th Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar, May 7-9, 2014

April 14, 2014 | Comments Off
Posted by Joseph C. DeBlasio

Joseph C. DeBlasio, Esq., co-chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Department, will be speaking at the Defense Research Institute’s (DRI) 37th Annual Employment and Labor Law Seminar being held in Scottsdale, Arizona from May 7-9, 2014. On May 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm, Mr. DeBlasio will be presenting on “Making the Most of the Plaintiff- Employee Deposition.” With the majority of employment law cases being resolved prior to trial, taking the plaintiff’s deposition is one of the most critical events. At Mr. DeBlasio’s program, you will learn how to develop a deposition strategy, including the most effective way to get the answers you need.

For more information or to register for this event, please click here.

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