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02.28.2024Twist & Shout: Supervisor’s Termination for Shouting Match With Subordinate Upheld Despite Alleged Whistleblowing ActivityOn February 16, 2024, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Ugarte v. Barnabas Health Med. Group, upheld the dismissal of a whistleblowing claim filed by a former supervisor. The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the employee’s claim under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), finding that she was properly terminated for mistreating her subordinate. Ultimately, the supervisor could not establish a retaliation claim because there was no causal link between her termination and reporting HIPAA concerns.
02.05.2024Consistent Documentation Of Poor Performance Defeats Employee's Age Discrimination Claim On January 9, 2024, in Krassowski v. Bloomberg L.P., the New Jersey Appellate Division unanimously affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of an employer that had well-documented proof of an employee’s continued failure to meet the expected level of performance for his role. The court found that the employee’s age discrimination suit faltered as he failed to demonstrate age played a role in his termination.
08.29.2023The ABC’S Of The EEOC’S Proposed Regulations On Pregnancy: Accommodations In The WorkplaceEffective July 27, 2023, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) requires employers with 15 or more employees, to accommodate pregnancy and pregnancy-related complications in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal agency charged with enforcing the PWFA, recently issued proposed regulations clarifying employer obligations and employee rights under the PWFA. The PWFA requires employers to provide qualified employees and applicants with known limitations relating to pregnancy, childbirth or related mediation conditions with reasonable workplace accommodations, unless the accommodation causes an undue hardship. The key terms, underlined for clarity, are explained herein.
08.14.2023After the Injury: NJ District Court Reiterates Indefinite Light Duty & Unpaid Leave is Not a Reasonable AccommodationOn July 12, 2023, in Wraith v. Wayfair, Inc., the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted summary judgment in favor of an employer, dismissing a former employee’s claim of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate in violation of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) following an on-the-job injury. The District Court found that the employer did not have a duty to accommodate an indefinite light duty or indefinite leave under the law where the only information provided was a physician note indicating the employee could not return to work.
08.02.2023Cleaning House: New Jersey Enacts Building Service Worker Retention Law On July 24, 2023, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Assembly Bill 4682/Senate Bill 2389 protecting non-managerial and non-professional service workers, who work at eligible locations, from sudden and unexpected loss of employment due to changes in ownership. New Jersey’s new law is the second of its kind in the United States.
05.25.2023A Second Chance: NJ Employer Escapes Liability Where It Rectifies Discriminatory Conduct On May 17, 2023, in Schoenberg v. The Devereux Foundation, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed summary judgment for an employer, on a complaint filed by a former employee alleging gender and pregnancy discrimination in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The Court found that even where the employer had discriminated against the employee by revoking a job offer when it learned the employee was pregnant, the employer had rectified the situation and made the employee “whole” by reinstating the offer. The Court concluded that the employee unreasonably rejected the offer.
04.21.2023NJ District Court Upholds Employee Termination After FMLA Leave On March 31, 2023, in LeBlanc v. Thomas Jefferson University, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted an employer’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing a former’s employee’s allegations of discrimination and retaliation pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).
04.13.2023No Signature, No Settlement: NJ Appellate Division Reiterates Settlements Reached at Mediation Absent a Signed Agreement Are Unenforceable On March 28, 2023, in a published decision in Gold Tree Spa, Inc, v. PD Nail Corp., the New Jersey Appellate Division extended the New Jersey Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Willingboro Mall, Ltd. v. 240/242 Franklin Ave., LLC and confirmed that settlements reached at mediation are unenforceable when the parties do not sign a term sheet before mediation comes to a close, irrespective of whether mediation is voluntary or court-ordered. Although the Gold Tree case involved a commercial dispute, the decision contains important lessons for employers and employment law practitioners.
03.14.2023To Click or Not to Click: NJ Appellate Division Reaffirms Enforceability of Electronic Arbitration AgreementsOn March 7, 2023, in Dakota Powell vs. Prime Comms Retail LLC, the New Jersey Appellate Division ruled that a former employee must arbitrate her claims of race discrimination, rather than pursue them in court due to her electronic acknowledgement of a Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate upon hiring. The decision in Powell further confirms the growing acceptance of arbitration agreements by the New Jersey courts in New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) cases.
01.23.2023Practical Considerations On The Speak Out ActThe Federal Speak Out Act Limits Confidentiality Over Resolved Claims Against Employers For Sexual Harassment And Assault. Here Are Some Practical Pointers For New Jersey Employers.
01.17.2023Beginning On April 10, 2023, New Jersey Employers Must Comply With Stricter Requirements On Mass-Layoffs And Business ClosuresIn 2020, New Jersey amended the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (referred to as the NJ WARN Act), which regulates employers implementing mass layoffs and business closures. Governor Phil Murphy placed those amendments on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Three years after their enactment, on January 10, 2023, Governor Murphy passed legislation making those amendments effective on April 10, 2023. Those amendments change the landscape for those employers who are forced to close their doors or reduce their workforce.
11.01.2022New York City Salary Transparency Law Effective November 1, 2022As of November 1, 2022, employers advertising a “job, promotion or transfer opportunity” in the 5 Boroughs of New York City must state the minimum and maximum salary for the position contained in the job posting or advertisement. This law applies to all jobs that will be or can be performed, at least in part, in New York City.