It has been a little over a month since the Opportunity to Compete Act (the “Act”) went into effect in New Jersey. The Act, which is New Jersey’s version of Ban the Box, was originally signed into law on August 11, 2014, giving employers roughly 6 months to review and revise their employment forms and… Continue Reading
Companies subject to The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted on July 21, 2010, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, are on notice: the SEC is prosecuting violations of Section 21F-17 of the Exchange Act, which prevents companies, through the use of confidentiality agreements, from impeding the ability of whistleblowers to… Continue Reading
Stark & Stark Shareholder Ben Widener, Chair of the firm’s Employment Group, authored the article “Two Important New Developments in NJ Employment Law,” which was published on March 11, 2015 by U.S.1. The article discusses two new legal developments that will change the way employers do business: worker pregnancy and paid sick leave. Recently, New Jersey… Continue Reading
In October 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to equal protection and, thus, are qualified for the same statutory rights and benefits afforded to heterosexual married couples. See Lewis v. Harris, 188 N.J. 415 (2006) (instructing the New Jersey Legislature to amend the marriage statutes or enact a new… Continue Reading
As a general rule in New Jersey, private employers may not conduct random drug testing of current employees except employees in “safety-sensitive” positions. Notwithstanding scant authority on what constitutes a “safety-sensitive” position, it is clear that to qualify, there must be a direct and immediate nexus between the employee’s job duties and a fairly significant safety risk. Absent such a connection, an employer cannot require its employees to submit to random drug testing, though pre-employment testing and testing in light of a particularized suspicion are permissible.
Countless people have been affected by the harsh economic times of the past several years. Many were unable to meet their financial obligations and stopped paying their bills which ultimately resulted in diminished credit ratings. In turn, job prospects also diminished. Pre-employment credit screenings are often standard practice and an unacceptable credit rating can be a bar to potential employment opportunities.
Generally, employers in New Jersey have an obligation to ensure that the workplace they are providing is harassment-free. However, like allegations of work-related discrimination, harassment is unlawful in New Jersey only if it is based on an employee being a member of a legally “protected class.”
Employee manuals are a very useful tool for both employers and employees. The manuals are meant to provide guidance to employees about how the company runs, what the employer’s expectations are and how certain situations should be handled. They can quickly and effectively provide employees with answers to many commonly asked questions. This creates a certain level of clarity for both parties and aids in the avoidance of misunderstandings regarding the company’s policies.
To be an employee, or not to be an employee: that is the question for student-athletes of revenue producing sports at private universities. To college sports administrators and enthusiasts aghast at and appalled by the idea, the sky may be falling. To labor and employment lawyers, the question presents a unique opportunity to revisit issues of worker reclassification and evaluate the potential ramifications of what could be a complete paradigm shift in intercollegiate athletics.
Social Media use is prevalent and will undoubtedly continue to remain a staple in our society for years to come. Improvements in technology have made access easier which has helped to create a culture where people are engaging in the use of social media anytime and from almost anywhere. But what does this mean for employers? Is an employer permitted to access employee social media accounts? Can the content of employee social media conversations be restricted? Can the use of social media be banned or limited in the workplace?