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Morristown New Jersey Employment Law Blog

Is work scheduling law on its way to New Jersey?

Two years ago, Oregon became the first state to pass a predictable scheduling law. A similar measure was recently introduced in the New Jersey legislature; if passed, the measure would have a significant impact on New Jersey businesses with 250 workers or more, especially in retail, hospitality, restaurants and warehouses.

Employers would be mandated to notify and compensate workers for certain shift changes. Those eligible businesses would also be required to offer existing employees work before hiring externally.

A new law increases potential penalties for employers

On January 21, 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy signed several new bills into law. These laws aim to increase protections for employees across New Jersey, but they could lead many employers to face considerable risks and challenges.

 

Part II: 2019 was a year of big changes to New Jersey employment law

Regular readers of our Morristown Employment Law Blog will undoubtedly recall that we recently took a look back at the big changes 2019 brought to New Jersey law. We looked at a couple of topics: penalties for wage violations and changes to the state’s Family Leave Act.

In this post, we will examine employment law changes that include protections for medical marijuana users and the reworking of non-disclosure agreements.

Part I: 2019 was a year of big changes to New Jersey employment law

They say that change is one of the few constants in life. If that’s true, then 2019 was as constant as a year could be for New Jersey employers.

Let’s take a look at some of the significant changes to Garden State employment law over the past year.

Group cites New Jersey employment law as national template

Former Fox News personalities Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky have formed a national advocacy group called Lift Our Voices. The group says its aim is to stop companies from using nondisclosure agreements to prevent victims of improper workplace behavior from speaking out.

The group says it wants states to pass proposals patterned after the New Jersey employment law that makes provisions of NDAs unenforceable in cases in which an employee alleges workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Freelancers say New Jersey contractor law will cost them work

It’s a relatively short drive south of Morristown to get to Middlesex. The borough’s State Sen Linda Greenstein recently said that in her two decades in the New Jersey legislature, she finds the proposed independent contractor law “the most confusing.”

Though she said the proposal is bewildering, she and others on the Senate Labor Committee voted their overwhelming support for it. Critics say the measure will hurt freelancers, losing them work and income and putting some of them out of business entirely.

The ABCs of New Jersey employment law could get tougher

It is important for many employers to hire independent contractors who can perform essential tasks at a lower overall cost than full-time employees with benefits. A bill recently introduced in the New Jersey legislature would create a stricter ABC test for determining who is and who is not a contractor.

The bill would make changes to a number of New Jersey employment laws, including the Wage and Hour Law, unemployment law and Wage Payment Law.

CEO’s ouster leads to more employment policy adjustments

Workplace romances can complicate office politics and watercooler conversation, but when the relationships involve employees with unequal power, employers can find their employment policies questioned, publicly scrutinized and even the target of litigation.

That’s the conclusion of a report by New Jersey’s News 12 on the recent ouster of McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook, who was dispatched after a consensual relationship with an employee became known. The report says that the ouster and #MeToo movement is prompting more companies to adopt employment policies that address workplace romantic relationships.

New Jersey investigating possible worker misclassification

Regular readers of our Morristown employment law blog know that New Jersey’s recent expansion of its wage and hour laws has made it easier for both regulators and workers to level a wide variety of charges against employers. We read recently that state labor auditors are investigating whether ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft are misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

If the Department of Labor and Workforce Development determines that drivers are actually employees and not independent contractors, the companies would face a raft of possible sanctions and changes to pay, hours and more.

Changes to New Jersey paid family leave and more

New Jersey employers have all of the usual challenges that businesses must deal with daily, but they are also compelled to try to keep up with our state’s constant changes in employment law. Of course, it’s not enough to just know about the changes, you are required to comply with each new rule, regulation and statute.

Before next year's big expansion of New Jersey’s paid family leave program, employers should be aware of a couple of recent changes that went into effect. The changes are designed to make it easier for employees to take paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child, a disability or to care for a family member.

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