On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that addressed a blind spot in the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination that actually enabled private employers to discriminate against employees on the basis of their age. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), codified at N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et seq., which in relevant part provides that “all persons shall have the opportunity to obtain employment without discrimination,” protects private employees in New Jersey against disparate treatment, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and other unequal employment practices on the basis of certain protected characteristics, including their age.

Continue Reading 70 is the New 40 – New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Expands Protections to Employees Over the Age of 70

On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation following the New York State Attorney General’s investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct from several female staffers. The 168-page investigation report found “the governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law.”

Continue Reading Cuomo Resignation a Reminder of the Importance of Anti-Harassment Policies, Grievance Procedures and Workplace Investigations

Last month, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an important decision concerning whether or not a supervisor’s use of two offensive racial slurs could support a hostile work environment claim under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD). Rios v. Meda Pharm, Inc., 2021 N.J. Lexis 553 (2020).

Continue Reading New Jersey Supreme Court Holds That Two Highly Offensive Comments Could Trigger Employer Liability Under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

The EEOC stated that employers can now order their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination shot, provided that they comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), religious exceptions, and other laws.

Continue Reading The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Says Employers Can Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines

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

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

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

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

The federal Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206, was enacted in 1963 to protect against wage discrimination based on a person’s sex. The purpose of the Act is simple: men and women in the same workplace should be given equal pay for equal work. All forms of employment compensation are covered by the Act, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, incentive compensation, vacation, etc. Under the Act, if there is any inequality in wages between men and women who perform substantially equal jobs, the employer must make it right by raising wages to equalize and normalize pay. In addition, an employer who violates the Act is liable to its aggrieved employee in the amount of her (or his) unpaid compensation and an additional, equal amount as a liquidated damage, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.

Continue Reading Landmark Pinterest Settlement Reflects Continued Gender Gap in the Workplace

As COVID-19 cases continue to mount and the virus continues to push public health systems to their breaking points, perhaps no community has been hit harder than our elders residing in long-term care facilities. As of January 13, 2021, Neshaminy Manor—the largest nursing home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania—has seen 218 residents test positive, 85 of whom have died from the virus. Through contact tracing, administrators believe the virus was brought into the home by infected employees despite the nursing home’s best efforts to minimize risk.

Continue Reading Nursing Home to Employees: COVID-19 Vaccination or Job Termination