The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) protects against discrimination based on certain protected characteristics in housing, employment, places of public accommodation, credit, and business contracts. In general, the NJLAD prohibits taking “adverse employment actions” against employees or candidates for employment because of protected characteristics or discriminating against employees or candidates in any actions related to hiring, firing, compensation, terms and conditions of employment, or retirement based on protected characteristics. A recent case involving the Plainfield Fire Department reaffirms that the NJLAD protects members of a majority group against illegal discrimination in the same manner as it protects minorities.
Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are common in settlements of workplace sexual harassment suits to limit what the parties can reveal about the facts of the complaint and the terms of a settlement. They often limit what all parties involved can reveal about the accused harasser, the alleged victim, and the workplace culture or environment that may have fostered or condoned behavior that led to a harassment claim. In light of the #MeToo movement, which encourages victims to speak out publicly about their experiences of workplace harassment in an effort to prevent future occurrences, a number of states have passed or are considering legislation limiting NDAs.
Worker misclassification costs more than you may think. While employees who are misclassified as independent contractors may pay higher self-employment taxes and miss out on many benefits and protections of state and federal laws, New Jersey also misses out on significant revenue that businesses must tender to the state on behalf of employees but not independent contractors.
A recent ruling by a New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation could expand workers’ compensation coverage in an unexpected way—to cover the costs of an injured worker’s medical marijuana use.
The #MeToo movement has helped bring workplace sexual harassment into the spotlight. As more and more employees speak up about their concerns, complaints, and personal experiences, employers strive to respond to their individual issues and develop protocols for handling these situations. One excellent resource for employers and employees working to establish and implement response systems is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Topics: Employment Law
Employers in New Jersey have a responsibility to both establish preventive measures against sexual harassment and other forms of workplace misconduct and to take remedial measures when harassment is reported. An employer has a responsibility to adequately investigate allegations of sexual harassment—especially if it wants to claim that it should avoid vicarious liability because it had created and enforced an effective policy against sexual harassment.
Social media is big business these days. Successful employers use online platforms for a variety of uses, like viral marketing campaigns, direct ads, recruitment efforts, screening potential candidates for employment, and communicating with existing employees. However, this increased connectivity comes with increased risk. As technology continues to evolve, the laws around it do, too.
Topics: Employment Law
In another tragic series of events, a New Jersey three-year-old suffered serious burns when a Wawa clerk knocked a cup of scalding water off a counter and onto her upper body, arms, and torso. Her parents have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the company on behalf of themselves and the girl, asking for compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and other damages.
Topics: Personal Injury
Following an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department, a number of New Jersey gas station owners have agreed to pay approximately $2.1 million to compensate underpaid station attendants at 24 central and south Jersey locations. The federal bureau’s investigation found the workers had not been receiving the minimum wage and overtime required by law. Do you know what pay you’re entitled to under the law?