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General Search Results:
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Employer Escapes Liability in FFCRA COVID Litigation
America may be moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, but employers continue to deal with its aftermath as they face lawsuits alleging violations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
A Real “Who Dunnit?”: Dispute Over Unsigned Arbitration Agreement Means Judges Must Wear Detective’s Cap
On July 18, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division provided a perfect reminder why all employers and HR professionals should diligently confirm that new hires complete all on-boarding paperwork. In Bhoj v. OTG Management, LLC, the Appellate Division reversed a trial court’s order compelling arbitration, finding that the terminated employee’s failure to sign or acknowledge receipt of an arbitration agreement presented a factual mystery that required a more in-depth investigation by the judge before she could enforce an unsigned arbitration agreement.
Dina Mastellone, Kathleen Barnett Einhorn, Jennifer Borek & Maria Fruci Elected for Leadership Roles in the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
Genova Burns is pleased to congratulate several of our brightest attorneys who have been elected to leadership roles in New Jersey Women Lawyers Association.
It’s Settled . . . Or Is It? NJ Appellate Division Rules The NJLAD Does Not Prohibit Non-Disparagement Clauses in Settlement Agreements
On May 31, 2022, in Savage v. Township of Neptune, the New Jersey Appellate Division partially upheld, and partially overturned, a trial court’s enforcement of a private settlement agreement, holding that although the settlement agreement’s non-disparagement clause was enforceable and not violative of the statutory prohibition against enforcing non-disclosure provisions in harassment/discrimination/retaliation cases, the employee’s allegedly disparaging statements did not actually violate the non-disparagement clause as written.
Digital Walls Surrounding Speech on Social Media Crumble: NJ Appellate Division Upholds Employee Termination for Racist Facebook Posts
On May 20, 2022, in McVey v AtlantiCare Medical System, the New Jersey Appellate Division Panel affirmed the dismissal of an employee’s case holding that her termination was not in violation of the protections afforded to speech. After losing her job for posting racist comments on social media, Plaintiff, Heather J. McVey, learned that freedom of speech, like all rights, is not absolute.
Dina Mastellone and Jennifer Roselle to Present "Clearing The Haze: Maintaining A Drug Free Workforce" Webinar for NJ CAR
Firm Partners Dina M. Mastellone, Esq. and Jennifer Roselle, Esq. will present a webinar entitled, "Clearing The Haze: Maintaining A Drug Free Workforce" for the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJCAR) on June 8th.
New York’s New Electronic Monitoring Law Effective May 7, 2022
As we previously notified our readers, it’s a new dawn of electronic monitoring in New York. Effective May 7, 2022, employers engaging in electronic monitoring must provide detailed notice to their employees. Notice will be required if the employer wishes to digitally monitor or otherwise intercept phone conversations, text messages, e-mails and internet usage of employees.
Glass Houses: Hostile Work Environment Claim Dismissed Due to Employee’s Own Unprofessional Conduct
On April 19, 2022, in Bouziotis v. Iron Bar, LLC, the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld a trial court’s dismissal of a former bartender’s hostile work environment and gender discrimination claims partly on the grounds that employee partook in the “pejorative language and boorish conduct pervading Iron Bar’s atmosphere,” just as much as anyone else, regardless of gender. Because the former employee could not show that the alleged misconduct occurred “but for [her] gender,” the Appellate Division upheld the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer.
Employer Documentation Saves the Day & Earns Dismissal of Age Bias Lawsuit
On April 4, 2022, in the matter of Jane Rocks, et al. v. PNC Investments LLC, et al., a three-judge Appellate Panel affirmed the Superior Court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of PNC Investments LLC and dismissing the former employees’ claims of age discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The Appellate Division found the employees were unable to demonstrate that they were held to higher standards due to their age.
Genova Burns Congratulates Firm Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers & Rising Star Listings for 2022
Genova Burns congratulates firm attorneys who have been named to the 2022 Super Lawyers & Rising Stars listings by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters-owned rating service of outstanding lawyers.
NJ Appellate Division Upholds Requests, Not Commands, By Employers to Maintain Confidentiality in Employment Investigations
On February 28, 2022, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a request for confidentiality by an investigator in connection with a discrimination or harassment investigation is valid and does not violate an employee’s right of free speech or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). In Usachenok v. State of New Jersey Department of the Treasury, et al., the Appellate Division denied an attempt made by a former employee to invalidate a regulation by the State's Civil Service Commission requesting confidentiality in connection with a harassment investigation.
Genova Burns Diversifying Management Roles Announces New Leadership Team & Structure
Newark-based Genova Burns announced that Co-Founding Partner James M. Burns, Esq. will take on the firm’s managing partner role. Current Chairman & Managing Partner Angelo J. Genova, Esq. will step down as managing partner, but continue as Chairman.
New York City Passes Law Requiring Salary Ranges in Job Postings
A makeover is on the horizon for job postings in New York City. On December 15, 2021, the New York City Council passed new legislation relating to wage transparency on job postings. On January 15, 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams returned this bill without a veto, effectively passing it into law. The goal of the legislation was to reduce pay disparities affecting historically disadvantaged applicants, which follows a national trend.
Whose Burden is it Anyway? NJ Appellate Division Holds Employee Fails to Meet the Burden of Persuasion of Showing Discriminatory Intent
Despite surviving summary judgment, securing a favorable verdict at the second trial, and being awarded counsel fees, Plaintiff’s gender discrimination case was abruptly dismissed by the Appellate Division. On January 3, 2022, the three-judge panel held that an employee in a discrimination case bears the burden of persuasion at all stages. This employee’s argument fell short of that burden, and her case was, therefore, dismissed.
New York’s New Electronic Monitoring Law Mandates New Disclosure Requirements for Employers
It’s a new dawn of electronic monitoring in New York, as employers will soon be required to disclose the extent of their electronic monitoring of employees in the workplace. On November 8, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law amending New York State’s Civil Rights Law requiring all private employers that conduct business in the State of New York, regardless of size, to provide notice to employees of electronic monitoring of telephone, email, and internet access and usage.
Employees 70 & Older Gain New Life With Expanded Protections Against Age Discrimination in the Workplace
On October 5, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation expanding the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) providing increased protections against age discrimination for workers 70 years of age and older. The new legislation closes loopholes by repealing provisions permitting age discrimination in hiring, promoting, and retirement practices, while increasing available remedies to those facing age discrimination in employment.
Dina Mastellone Interviewed on The Lawyers Edge Podcast
Dina M. Mastellone, Esq., firm Partner and Human Resources, Counseling & Compliance Practice Chair, was recently featured on The Lawyer’s Edge podcast for an interview focused mainly on whether or not the bar association is relevant today.
NY HERO Act COVID-19 Designation Activates Employer Prevention Plans
On September 6, 2021, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the New York State Commissioner of Health has designated COVID-19 a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), thus requiring all employers to implement workplace safety plans to prevent workplace airborne infectious disease outbreaks.
Dina Mastellone to Present "Workplace Investigations: Understanding Micro-Aggressions, Implicit Bias, and the Impact of Long-Term Virtual Workplaces on Employees and Workplace Cultures" Webcast
Partner Dina M. Mastellone, Esq. will participate in a webcast for the New Jersey State Bar Association entitled "Workplace Investigations: Understanding Micro-Aggressions, Implicit Bias, and the Impact of Long-Term Virtual Workplaces on Employees and Workplace Cultures" on September 30th.
Stepping In Where Unions Have Failed, NYC Council Imposes Just Cause Standard On Non-Union Employers
As our readers may be aware, in March 2021, New York City passed an ordinance requiring fast food employers to have just cause to discharge their employees, where discharge includes termination, constructive discharge, indefinite suspension, and reduction in hours by more than 15%. The ordinance has been effective as of July 5, 2021, and enforcement of these mandates began September 3, 2021.