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.

Retention of Employment Records in NJ

March 24, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

Federal and State law dictate how long employers must retain certain employee related records.  For instance, Form I-9 should be retained for either three (3) years after the date of hire or for one (1) year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.  Federal laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also require employers to maintain certain pre-employment records for no less than two years.  Finally, New Jersey law also comes into play with regard to record retention.  At a minimum, New Jersey employers should maintain documents comprising the employee personnel file for a period of not less than two years after separation of employment.

Of course knowing the minimum retention requirements is only half the battle.   Some employers would be best served by retaining certain documents as long as possible. Others, however, might wish to consider scheduling the destruction of certain types of records as soon as the minimum retention period has concluded.  For more information about your company’s obligations under the law and tips for minimizing liability, please contact Ari G. Burd or Jay S. Becker at the GHC Labor & Employment Department.

Pre-Screening Job Applicants

March 18, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

As I noted in a recent blog post, New Jersey now prevents employers from asking applicants about criminal convictions in the initial job application and interview.  Certain municipalities even have their own rules on the subject.  However, this is only one of many laws pertinent to pre-screening job applicants that employers must be wary of.  Employers must abide by the Fair Credit and Reporting Act if they intend to perform a criminal or credit background check.   This means obtaining the applicant’s permission before performing the check, letting the applicant know if the employer intends to disqualify them based on something in the background check, etc.  Additionally, employers risk running afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if they automatically disqualify all applicants with criminal convictions.  To avoid these pitfalls and for more information about what is and is not permissible under the law, please contact the GH&C Labor and Employment Dept.

Are You Prepared for the Affordable Care Act?

March 10, 2015 | Comments Off
Posted by Ari Burd

If a business employs 50 or more employees, it has until January 1, 2016 to get ready to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act/Obama Care.  If a business has a 100 or more employee, it is already subject to the Affordable Care Act.  If you want to know what this means for your business or for your business clients, come out and join us for the free “The Implications of the ACA on Small Business” seminar being held at our office on March 12, 2015 at 6pm.  More information available here.

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.

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