Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Category Archives: Policies/Handbooks

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Susan Nardone to Serve as Panelist at Upcoming NJBIA Employment Seminar

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
Every day, employers are required to understand and navigate the often tricky employment laws that apply to their workplaces. The topic generating the most attention of late is workplace bullying - from proposed legislation that would provide a remedy to the bullied employee to policies that employers can put in place to address workplace bullying. While no state has passed bullying legislation, most agree that it is only a matter of time… Continue Reading

Arbitration Agreement Nullified by Employee Handbook Disclaimer According to NJ District Court

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
Employers often use arbitration programs with employees to elect a forum that eliminates jury trials and class actions. A New Jersey District Court recently found that the employer’s handbook containing a provision which, gives the employer the exclusive ability to change the provisions of the handbook without notice to employees, invalidated an employee’s arbitration agreement. … Continue Reading

NJLAD Amended to Target Potential Pay Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination, Policies/Handbooks
On August 28, 2013, New Jersey Governor Christie signed Assembly Bill No. 2648, amending the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD") to prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who disclose to or request information from other employees or former employees regarding job title, occupational category, pay (including benefits), gender, race, ethnicity, military status and national origin for the purpose of investigating or taking legal action against potential pay discrimination. The amendment, effective immediately, does not require employees or former employees to divulge this information… Continue Reading

Governor Christie Signs Legislation Protecting Social Networking Accounts of Employees

Posted in Policies/Handbooks, Privacy
On August 29, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that prohibits most employers from requiring employees or prospective employees to disclose user names and passwords for social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The new law, which goes into effect December 1, 2013, makes New Jersey the 13th state to enact legislation protecting the social networking accounts of employees. The Gibbons Employment Law Alert previously covered the proposed bill before it became law… Continue Reading

New Jersey Employers Required to Provide Domestic Violence Leave

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
On July 17, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act). Effective October 1, 2013, the law requires private and public employers with at least 25 employees to provide unpaid leave to any employee who was a victim of domestic violence or whose child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, or civil union partner was a victim of domestic violence… Continue Reading

New Form I-9 To Go Into Effect On May 7, 2013

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released an updated Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. Beginning May 7, 2013, the new Form I-9 must be used for all new hires, including reverification or rehires. The new Form I-9 denotes a revision date of March 8, 2013 in the lower left hand corner of the form and is available on the USCIS's website. Employers are not required to complete the new Form I-9 for current employees if they have maintained properly-completed unexpired forms on file for those employees… Continue Reading

Federal Government Taking More Steps to Protect Trade Secrets

Posted in Employment Agreements, Policies/Handbooks, Privacy, Restrictive Covenants
The federal government continues to take aim at those who violate trade secrets rights. On December 28, 2012, the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012 (S. 3642) became law, expanding the definition of trade secrets under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA). In addition, as previously reported in a Gibbons IP Law Alert blog, the President is expected to sign legislation recently passed by Congress that triples the damages for a violation of trade secrets protection laws and provides technical changes to patent applications and protections. Also worthy of note is an 82-page report from the U.S. Department of Justice issued last month detailing federal enforcement efforts concerning trade secrets theft… Continue Reading

Complying with the EEOC’s and New York’s Criminal Background Check Laws

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
As previously reported, in April 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Community (EEOC) issued its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, updating and clarifying its prior guidance on the subject. Compliance with state and local laws on the subject can present a challenge for employers. Mitchell Boyarsky and Peter J. Dugan of the Gibbons Employment & Labor Law Department discuss these challenges in a recent article published in the New York Law Journal… Continue Reading

How Employers Can Combat the Flu

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
Flu season is here. Even when pandemic levels of the influenza virus are not expected, the flu nevertheless impacts businesses whose employees become ill and/or need to take time off for flu-related reasons. With limited restrictions, employers are permitted to adopt policies and practices to encourage flu prevention, to control workplace flu outbreaks and to maintain optimal efficiency during flu season, provided that their practices are applied consistently, non-discriminatorily and in keeping with published employment policies and handbooks… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Third Social Media Report Includes Model Social Media Policy

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board's Acting General Counsel issued a third report on social media cases. This report follows the Board's August 2011 and January 2012 reports on the subject, which we previously discussed. The guidance contained in the three social media reports is applicable to most private sector employers, unionized or not… Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Continues to be “Employer Friendly”

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA") is a federal law that, in part, makes it a crime to access a computer in an unauthorized manner. In the employment context, the statute has proven valuable in protecting confidential and proprietary information that employees can access on their employers' electronic systems. Recent decisions by the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Third Circuits emphasize the breadth of the CFAA's application to the workplace… Continue Reading

What Employers Can Do About the Flu

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
Flu season is here. While pandemic levels of the influenza virus are not predicted for the 2011-2012 flu season, the virus nevertheless impacts businesses whose employees become ill and/or need to take time off for flu-related reasons. With limited restrictions, employers are permitted to adopt policies and practices to encourage flu prevention, to control workplace flu outbreaks and to maintain optimal efficiency during flu season, provided that their practices are applied consistently, non-discriminatorily and in keeping with published employment policies and handbooks… Continue Reading

NJ Department of Labor Issues New Poster Notification for All Employers

Posted in Policies/Handbooks, Wage & Hour
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development ("DOL") recently issued a new notice regarding the maintenance and reporting of employment records. All New Jersey employers must immediately begin providing a copy of the notice upon hire to any employee hired after November 7, 2011. For all pre-existing employees, the notice must be provided by December 7, 2011. Provision of the notice may be provided by hard copy or electronic mail. In addition to these distribution requirements, the notice must immediately be conspicuously posted at each worksite either by displaying it alongside other required workplace postings in a readily visible and accessible location or on an employer-run Internet or intranet site that is used exlusively by employees and to which all employees have access. Failure to comply with the distribution and and posting requirements carries a fine of up to $1,000, in addition to possible criminal penalties… Continue Reading

NLRB Report on Social Media Cases Provides Guidance for Employers on Social Media Policies

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
The National Labor Relations Board's Acting General Counsel recently issued a report and press release summarizing the outcomes of recent NLRB cases involving employees' use of social media and the legality of employers' social media policies. Among the cases discussed in the report are several in which the Board found that provisions of employers' social media policies violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits work rules that would "reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights" to engage in "concerted activities" for the purpose of "mutual aid or protection."… Continue Reading

Introducing the Gibbons Employment Academy Webinar Series

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
As highlighted in our January "Focus on Training in 2011" post, training programs directed to human resources and supervisory employees are a win-win for employers. Whether as a primer or refresher, a legal overview and update on current developments will enable decision-makers to work within the boundaries of the law and reduce costs associated with employee complaints and litigation. Although employees are entitled to various protections under the law, employers must feel that they are empowered to make decisions and manage their employees, from the hiring process through separation… Continue Reading