NJ Employment Law

NJ Employment Law Protections for Employees Most workers in New Jersey are employees “at will.”  Unless a worker is a member of a union, protected by government civil service, or has an employment contract, he or she is employed at will.  At will employment means that an employee can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all – so long as the firing does not break the law.  … [Read more...]

What is a New Jersey employment lawyer?

A New Jersey employment lawyer is someone who specializes in the various state and federal laws covering Employment and Workplace issues in New Jersey . In the State of New Jersey, the common employment law statutes are the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, and the New Jersey wage and hour laws. Under the federal laws, the common statutes are Title 7 … [Read more...]

Can I Continue My Health Benefits After I Leave My Job

New Jersey Employment Law and the Federal Employment Law allow you to leave your job and continue your health benefits if you leave your job for any reason or are terminated by your employer. You will be able to maintain your health coverage for you and your family through the COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). You are currently entitled to 18 months of COBRA … [Read more...]

What Can Your Employer Ask You In A Job Interview? | NJ Employee Rights

What can a NJ employer ask you in a job interview? Typically the questions must be relate to your skills to perform the job and your background. A NJ employer can ask you questions regarding whether you would require a reasonable accommodation in order to complete the essential job functions. However, you employer cannot ask you questions regarding you religion, marital status, sexual orientation, … [Read more...]

Can My NJ Employer Ask Me To Take A Drug Test | NJ Employee Rights

Can an employer in NJ ask you to take a drug test?  Yes, if you are applying for the job. However, if you are already an employee of the company and it does not have a random drug testing policy, the employer must have some legitimate reason or suspicion to require that you take a drug test.  Your employer may require drug testing for current employees if your job involves certain safety … [Read more...]

NJ Employee Rights | New Jersey Employee Rights Lawyer

As an employee in the State of New Jersey, you have NJ Employee Rights which create remedies for numerous issues that arise in the workplace. If you are a member of a Union, then your Employee Rights will be setup in your collective bargaining agreement and will provide you with a grievance procedure to address any workplace issues.  However, if you are not a member of a union and don't have an … [Read more...]

NJ Employment and Civil Rights Laws Upheld in Awarding Enhanced Attorneys’ Fees

NJ Employment laws, such as the Law Against Discrimination (used for sexual harassment and other discrimination claims) and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (protecting whistleblowers) require a losing employer to pay the employee’s attorneys’ fees. Due to the risk of non-payment, attorneys for employees also are permitted to apply for a “contingency fee enhancement,” usually between … [Read more...]

NJ Civil Rights Lawyers | NJ Civil Rights | Employment Laws Are Civil Rights

NJ Civil Rights Lawyers rely upon New Jersey's most used employment law -- the Law Against Discrimination -- that resides in Title 10 of New Jersey's statutes.  Title 10 is captioned, "Civil Rights."  The title alone tells us how important employment laws are in New Jersey.  But the Law Against Discrimination goes further.  Section 2 explicitly states that it is based in NJ civil rights: the Law … [Read more...]

New Rule Requires Employers to Post Right to Form a Union

Effective November 14, 2011, almost all employers will be required to post a notice providing employee's rights to act together to improve wages, working conditions, to form, join and assist a union, to bargain collectively with their employer.  Employers will be required to post the notice on a company bulletin board visible to all employees and place it on their intranet or website if they  post … [Read more...]

NJ Salespeople Are Entitled to Commissions After Leaving Their Jobs

The New Jersey Sales Representatives' Rights Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:61A-1, et seq., requires the employer to pay a sales representative after the work relationship ends.  The employer must pay the commissions within 30 days of the date the work relationship ends or within 30 days of the date commissions are due, whichever is later.  A sales representative is entitled to receive commissions on goods … [Read more...]

Privacy at Work — Can My Boss Do That?

Surprisingly, there are few laws protecting employee privacy. That will no doubt change in the next 20 years (the law is slow to catch up), but in the meantime an employee possesses a limited right to privacy in the workplace. Both the United States Supreme Court (in O’Connor v. Ortega) and the New Jersey Supreme Court (in Stengart v. Loving Care Agency) have ruled that the limits on that privacy … [Read more...]

Can Your Employer Require You to Disclose Your Facebook Username and Password?

The ACLU has recently taken on the issue of whether an employer can force an employee to disclose his Facebook username and password.  A Maryland Corrections Officer was forced to disclose his username and password as part of the re-certification process.  The interviewer immediately logged into his Facebook account and began reviewing the material. The ACLU will argue that this is a violation … [Read more...]

Misclassified Independent Contractors Entitled to Benefits

Congress is considering new legislation called the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (EMPA).  The EMPA would provide independent contractors who should have been classified as employees with benefits that they are not currently entitled to as independent contractors. This legislation would modify the Fair Labor Standards Act and allow penalties for against employers for improperly labeling … [Read more...]

Are Employees Who Take Prescription Drugs Covered Under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) recently ruled that employees who test positive for prescription drugs, and are suspended/terminated as a result of legally taking the prescription drugs, are not protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The various Federal Courts of Appeals disagree on the interpretation of the ADA regarding whether a person … [Read more...]

Can You Take Company Documents to Use in Your Lawsuit?

It depends.  The general rule of thumb is this: If you have access to the document in the ordinary course of your duties and you give it only to your lawyer, then the document probably can be used in a lawsuit. In Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that several factors must be balanced against each other that weigh the rights of the employee to be free from … [Read more...]

Using Credit Checks in Jobs May Soon Be a Thing of the Past In NJ

The New Jersey Senate Labor Committee yesterday approved a bill to ban businesses from using credit checks in deciding to hire or fire workers.  The proposed law contains a few exceptions where a credit check is deemed relevant to the work.  Employers may use credit checks for jobs handling large amounts of money, managing the financial direction of a company, and accessing a customer’s personal … [Read more...]

Drug Testing Law in New Jersey and New York – Prescription Drugs

The New York Times recently commented on the issue facing employers and employees regarding drug testing and positive results based on prescription drugs. Employees taking Xanax, Oxycodone, and other prescription drugs that demonstrate a positive result for opiates could find themselves out of work for taking the drug that was prescribed by their doctor. The Americans with Disabilities Act … [Read more...]

Government Employers Can’t Make Their Employees Sign Away Their Rights

If you have ever joined a gym or gone bungee jumping, you probably signed an agreement giving up your right to sue if you get hurt.  These are liability waivers and they are quite common whenever someone engages in inherently dangerous activity.  But are liability waivers valid if they are a requirement to have a government job?  The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that they are invalid for that … [Read more...]

Supreme Court Rules Contract Workers Have Same Rights As Employees

The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled last week that an employer's refusal to renew a worker's contract is the same as terminating an employee without a contract (an at-will employee). The court stated that allowing an employer to discriminate based on age merely because a worker had a contract "would undermine the remedial purposes of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and create a … [Read more...]

COBRA Subsidy Extended Until May 31, 2010

The Continuing Extension Act of 2010 reinstated the COBRA subsidy, which had expired on March 31. Accordingly, individuals who are involuntarily terminated from employment between Sept. 1, 2008, and May 31, 2010, may be eligible for a 65 percent subsidy of their COBRA premiums for a period of up to 15 months. In some cases, workers who had their hours reduced and later lost their jobs may also be … [Read more...]

Careful, Your Boss Is Reading Your Personal Emails

New Jersey employment attorneys agree that an employer has the right to read email of its employees that is sent or received on an email account owned by the employer.  But does the employer have the right to read an employee's email on her personal, password-protected Yahoo email account just because she read it on a computer owned by the employer?  Right now, the answer is no.  In a case where … [Read more...]

COBRA Subsidy Extended

The Temporary Extension Act of 2010 amended the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on March 2, 2010.  The Temporary Extension Act of 2010 provides for reductions in premiums for COBRA health benefits and extends the premium reductions through March 31, 2010.  In order to qualify, individuals must experience a COBRA qualifying event (involuntary termination) between September 1, 2008 … [Read more...]

Does Your Boss Own Your Personnel File?

What's in your personnel file dictates your raise, whether you keep your job, and maybe even whether your employer will give you a job reference in the future. You must be entitled to see it, right? Believe it or not, you have no right to see or to obtain a copy of the personnel file that your employer keeps on you. New Jersey and many other states say that your personnel file is your employer's … [Read more...]

New Jersey Enacts Emergency Responder Protection Act

The Emergency Responders Employment Protection Act protects volunteers responding to emergency alarms. The Act provides that "no employer shall terminate, dismiss or suspend an employee who fails to report for work at his or her place of employment because he or she is serving as a volunteer emergency responder during a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States or the … [Read more...]

Congress Pushes for Employee Rights in Harassment, Discrimination, and Whistleblower Cases

A bill currently pending in Congress called the Arbitration Fairness Act seeks to end forced arbitration of employment lawsuits.  Arbitration is viewed by many lawyers as a forum that favors big business.  Arbitration is a process where employees and consumers give up their right to a trial before a judge and jury in favor of a hearing before a privately-hired lawyer.  An arbitrator is not … [Read more...]