On January 13, 2021, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, in Branch v. Cream-O-Land Dairy, issued an important decision (available here) clarifying the scope of the so-called “good-faith defense” available to employers sued for violating the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements of the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (“NJWHL”). The Court’s opinion has significant implications for employers in New Jersey in terms of how they make certain compensation decisions and upon what authority employers can safely rely in ascertaining their legal obligations.

Continue Reading New Jersey Supreme Court Narrowly Construes “Good-Faith” Defense to Wage and Hour Claims

In our overstimulated environment with a plethora of brands, names, and marks, it is difficult for products to stand out. Some businesses, however, have managed to break through the noise by creating marks with lasting impressions on consumers. But there are limits, even for the most well-known brands such as Starbucks.

Continue Reading Survey Evidence Not Enough to Show Acquired Distinctiveness of Starbuck’s Green Dot on Coffee Cup

Many employees who are let go or terminated from employment don’t know what happens at work once they’re gone. Sometimes employees know or subsequently learn, whether through word of mouth, social media platforms such as LinkedIn, or the employer’s website, that they have been replaced. Sometimes their replacement is someone significantly younger, yet it is unclear exactly how old the replacement is. In a recent ruling, the Third Circuit has held the lack of knowledge doesn’t matter, at least not at the pleading stage of the litigation.

Continue Reading A “Significant Age Difference” Will Suffice to Advance an Age Discrimination Claim

nj legalize marijuanaHome to nearly 9 million people, New Jersey is now the epicenter of the green rush hitting the East Coast. Investors, businesspeople, professionals, operators, pharmacists, doctors, and entrepreneurs have their sights set on what is predicted to be a billion-dollar adult use industry in the Garden State. Easily accessible to those living in New York City (8.4 million population) and those residing in Southeastern Pennsylvania (3+ million population), New Jersey stands ready to embrace the cannabis movement sweeping the nation. With limited licenses carrying unlimited potential for growth and profit, the emerging adult use marijuana market in New Jersey is slated to be one of, if not the most, competitive cannabis markets in the country.

Continue Reading Growing Gold: Now that New Jersey Legalized Marijuana for Adult Use Here’s What You Need to Know About Winning A License

If you are beneficiary of an Estate, at some point you will be asked to sign a Refunding Bond and Release prior to receiving your bequest from an Estate. The logical question that will arise is what exactly you are being asked to sign. The purpose of this blog is discuss generally what a Refunding Bond and Release is and how it relates to your distribution from the Estate.

Continue Reading The Refunding Bond and Release

Once again, but not surprisingly, an arbitration agreement conveyed by an employer and confirmed by an employee via email has been upheld by the New Jersey courts.

In a recent decision, Jasicki v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed the motion court’s dismissal of an employee’s claims of sexual harassment, compelling arbitration.  Holding the employee agreed to the company’s mandatory arbitration program communicated via a company-wide email by (1) opening the email, (2) failing to opt-out of the arbitration program, and (3) continuing her employment, the Appellate Division validated email arbitration agreements in the employment context under these circumstances, despite the employee’s assertion she never actually read the email.  In doing so, the Appellate Division reinforced our courts’ approval of these less traditional and more controversial vehicles for securing employee assent to arbitration agreements.  In short, quoting its decision in Jaworski v. Ernst & Young, the Appellate Division wrote: “An email, properly couched, can be an appropriate medium for forming an arbitration agreement.”

Continue Reading Appellate Division Decision Confirms Continued Employment May Constitute Assent to an Employer’s Emailed Arbitration Agreement

On July 14, 2020, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an order authorizing several steps to support the resumption of landlord/tenant cases during the COVID-19 crisis. As discussed in another blog of mine, although there were limited circumstances to evict a commercial tenant, it was a difficult and timely process and, in most circumstances, the proofs needed to proceed were not present.

Continue Reading COVID-19 Procedural Hurdles Eased to Evict Commercial Tenants in New Jersey

On February 5, 2021, Governor Murphy signed legislation expanding outdoor dining opportunities for breweries, distilleries, restaurants, and bars in New Jersey during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill (S3340) provides a framework for municipalities to allow restaurants, bars, distilleries, and breweries to operate outdoor spaces or public sidewalks as extensions of their business premises. This is a step many municipalities across the state have already taken since the Governor authorized outdoor dining in June 2020.

Continue Reading New Jersey Expands Outdoor Dining Opportunities for Breweries, Distilleries and Restaurants

As electric vehicle production and use are becoming a significant part of the country’s energy conservation and global warming reduction effort, many states are passing laws in order to help expand the installation and use of electric vehicle charging (EVC) stations. New Jersey has now joined that list of states.

Continue Reading Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – Pulling Up to Your Community Association Soon?

For many employees, bonuses and commissions represent a significant portion of the compensation they expect to receive in exchange for their hard work and efforts in growing and cultivating their employers’ businesses and, in many instances, generating revenue. Typically, incentive pay is tied to performance—whether individual or company-wide—and is earned as of a certain date (which may be at the end of each year, each quarter, each month, or any other regular, set intervals), upon successful completion of certain tasks (such as the closing of a sale), or upon achieving certain measurable performance metrics or benchmarks. Often times commissions are paid on a monthly basis and bonuses are paid annually, either at the end of the year or beginning of the following year. But it does not have to be that way, and employers generally enjoy broad discretion in how they wish to construct and implement their incentive compensation plans and policies—and whether to even have one at all.

Continue Reading Employees’ Entitlement to Bonuses and Commissions Following Termination of Employment