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Be Prepared: New Jersey's Broad Paid Sick Leave Law Effective October 29, 2018

Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law will require that all private sector employers, regardless of size, provide forty (40) hours of paid sick leave each benefit year to employees working in New Jersey. If the employer already offers a minimum of 40 hours of paid time off, the employer is in compliance with the law as long as employees can use the time for the purposes stated under the law, e.g., personal days, vacation days, or sick days. If the employer is not currently offering this benefit, here are some of the things the employer needs to know in order to fashion a compliant policy: More ›

Failure to Timely Report Race Harassment Not a Bar to Trial

Employers frequently raise failure to report harassment as a defense in Title VII and related state cases. After all, how can you end harassing behavior if you are not aware of it. As the Eleventh Circuit reminded us earlier this week, that defense breaks down if the employer is aware of the conduct. More ›

California Senators Defy Federal Law by Making Employment-Based Arbitration Agreements Optional

On August 22, 2018, California senators passed a bill that prevents employers from forcing employees to sign mandatory arbitration or nondisclosure agreements in order to secure and/or maintain employment.  AB 3080 prevents retaliation against workers who choose not to sign mandatory arbitration agreements that would waive their right to pursue legal action under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act or the California Labor Code in courts.  The intent of the bill is not to outlaw arbitration agreements in their entirety, but to provide workers and job applicants with the option to choose the forum in which to air out their grievances. The proposed legislation will now move to the desk of Governor Brown for final approval.  More ›

Make Sure You Are Using the New FMLA Forms

On September 4, 2018, the Department of Labor issued new FMLA notices and certification forms.  The changes made are procedural in nature and were the result of the DOL's obligation to submit its forms to the Federal Office of Management and Budget every three years.  The prior forms expired on May 31, 2018, however, they were renewed on a temporary basis pending approval by the OMB.  Now that the approval is completed, the new forms reflect the updated expiration date of August 21, 2021.  To ensure you are using the updated forms, be sure to look for this new expiration date in the upper right-hand corner of the DOL Wage and Hour Division form.  Though the substance of the forms does not appear to have changed, employers will want to make sure they have switched to most current forms.   More ›

Amendments to Illinois Human Rights Act Allows Claimants to Bypass IDHR and Extend Filing Deadline

Late last month, the Illinois Human Rights Act was amended to provide a new judicial option for complainants and a longer charge filing period. Complainants now have the right to opt out of the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") investigative process and request a right to sue. From there, they can take their claims directly into court. The time for filing charges has also been expanded from 180 days to 300 days. These changes align the Illinois Human Rights Act with federal statutes such as Title VII that provide complaining parties both with the right to forego investigation and a longer filing period. More ›

Massachusetts Employers, It Is Time to Review Your Non-Competes

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a comprehensive non-compete law that will take effect on October 1, 2018 (“the Act”). It applies to all non-competes entered after the effective date. The Act follows several attempts by the Massachusetts Legislature to agree on a reform that spanned several years. Here are the highlights: More ›

Rigid Compliance with Company Policy May Violate the ADA

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision upholding a jury's guilty verdict against a large national retailer. Although a straightforward application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this case a great example of how strict enforcement of company policy can run afoul of the Act’s prohibition against discrimination and an employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations. More ›

Positive Result for Employer: New Jersey Federal District Court Holds No Duty to Waive Drug Test for Medical Marijuana Patients

New Jersey is the latest state to offer clarity on an employer's obligations to accommodate its employees' medical marijuana use. In Cotto v. Ardagh Glass Packaging, New Jersey's Federal District Court held that neither the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD") nor the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act ("CUMMA") requires an employer to waive a drug test as a condition of employment for an employee who uses medical marijuana. More ›

When an Employer Must Accommodate a Full-Time Employee with Part-Time Hours

Working full-time hours is an essential function of a full-time job, right? Not necessarily, said the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a Hostettler v. The College of Wooster. When the job can be done on a reduced schedule, at least in the short term, employers have a duty to accommodate. More ›

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