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Morristown New Jersey Employment Law Blog

New Jersey blue-collar employers turning to non-compete clauses

Many of our Morristown neighbors enjoy National Public Radio programming beamed out of Newark’s NPR station. The network recently aired an installment of its special series called Planet Money in which participants talked about a feature of white-collar employment contracts that is increasingly present in blue-collar job contracts: non-compete clauses.

As New Jersey employers know, these traditionally white-collar professionals contract clauses can help to protect valuable intellectual property and talent. As the labor market has improved in recent years, it is becoming more difficult for employers in some industries to fill open positions with qualified workers. Some employers today are hanging on to valuable blue-collar employees by requiring them to sign contracts containing the clauses as a condition of employment.

New Jersey employment law: as simple and complicated as ABC

The test to determine if someone qualifies as an independent contractor in New Jersey is as simple as “ABC.” Unfortunately, employment law here can also be as complicated as our infamous ABC test.

It is important for New Jersey employers to be careful about classifying someone as an independent contractor. Our ABC test is one of the strictest in the nation.

Employer-friendly changes coming to FMLA?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), its plans to revisit the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) regulations have two goals in mind. The first is to "better protect and suit the needs of workers," the DOL says. The second goal is to "reduce administrative and compliance burdens on employers."

The federal agency will issue a Request for Information (RFI) seeking comments from the business community and from workers in its effort to improve FMLA rules. The request is expected by April of next year or sooner, according to a business publication.

A look at changes to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination

If you have been reading our Morristown, New Jersey Employment Law Blog, you undoubtedly know that our state legislature and Governor Phil Murphy have to a large extent remade important parts of employment law.

One of the most significant changes was brought about by Senate Bill 121, which amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

More on the changes on the way to New Jersey employment law

Regular readers of our Morristown employment law blog will no doubt recall that in our previous post, we took a look at the recently enacted omnibus law that is bringing significant changes to New Jersey employment law.

Effective July 1, the law makes changes to the Family Leave Act, SAFE Act, Temporary Disability Benefits Act and more.

Significant changes coming to New Jersey employment law

As regular readers of our employment law blog know, we try to keep readers apprised of developments in federal and state employment laws and policies. New Jersey recently enacted an omnibus law that all employers should be aware of. The measure expands employee benefits in several key areas, including unpaid family leave, temporary paid family leave insurance and domestic or sexual violence safety leave.

Our state’s already generous worker protections and entitlements were significantly expanded by the legislation. The goalposts were moved in several key laws, including the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), the Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act) and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Act (TDB).

CR-Law Legal Alert

Alert: On March 18, 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law Senate Bill No. 121, which will dramatically and prospectively alter the landscape on arbitration and settlements of claims based on discrimination, retaliation and harassment. The law takes effect immediately. Specifically, the new law provides:

  • Non-disclosure provisions in settlement agreements of claims of discrimination, retaliation or harassment are unenforceable. A provision in any employment contract or settlement agreement which has the purpose or effect of concealing the details relating to a claim of discrimination, retaliation, or harassment is against public policy and is unenforceable against an employee who is a party to such agreement. If the employee publicly reveals sufficient details of the claim so that employer is reasonably identifiable, then the provision is also unenforceable. In short, an employee can demand confidentiality. But an employer cannot. Regardless, it's now against public policy.

Non-compete agreements: How do they help businesses?

Non-compete agreements are indispensable tools for many New Jersey businesses. It’s often crucial for employers to keep former employees from sharing trade secrets, client information and business plans with competitors.

But a non-compete agreement can cover other activities as well, such as limiting a former worker’s ability to recruit current employees for a competing firm. The agreements can also be crafted by an experienced employment law attorney to stop former employees from using customer lists and sales leads obtained on the job to poach valued customers or potential clients.

What's the difference between business and commercial law?

If you run a business, you may have wondered if there is a difference between "business law" and "commercial law." Many people use the words "business" and "commercial" almost interchangeably. Is there a difference -- and does it affect the kind of lawyer you need?

The differences between the two areas of law are real, but the two areas overlap a great deal. For most situations you'll encounter as a business owner, the same lawyer should be able to assist you with either.

Acknowledgement is Short of Agreement to Arbitrate

Lately, it seems like a new opinion about the enforceability of arbitration provisions in New Jersey comes out every day. In a newly published Appellate Division opinion, written by the Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division, Jack Sabatino, P.J.A.D., the court held a click through arbitration agreement was unenforceable. At the outset, the Court described the case as exemplifying the "inadequate way for an employer to go about extracting employees' agreement to submit to binding arbitration for future claims and thereby waive their rights to sue the employer and seek a jury trial." The plaintiff, here, alleged religious discrimination in violation of the New Jersey LAD (stemming from a mandatory vaccination policy).

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