Index of Articles
The New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Last month, New Jersey’s Appellate Division analyzed the New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (“PWFA”). The PWFA is an amendment to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) that prohibits pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.
Among other things, the PWFA requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to women who are pregnant. For example, this can include providing bathroom breaks, rest breaks, assistance with manual labor, job restructuring, and temporary assignment to less strenuous or less hazardous work. However, employers do not have to provide an accommodation if it would impose an undue hardship on it.
A recent opinion by New Jersey’s Appellate Division recognizes that false rumors of a sexual relationship between a female employee and a male superior can create a legally actionable hostile work environment.
Jennifer Schiavone is a senior corrections officer for the New Jersey Department of Corrections (“DOC”). In 2013, the DOC assigned Officer Schiavone to work in the Central Control Unit (“Central Control”), which is a desirable job because it does not involve direct contact with inmates.
Shortly after the DOC transferred Officer Schiavone to Central Control, rumors began to spread that she was having an extra-marital affair with a high-level DOC official, “S.D.” Even though Officer Schiavone denied that she was having an affair with S.D., their supposed relationship became the subject of nearly daily conversation at work. For example, on one occasion Officer Julie Houseworth asked Officer Schiavone if she planned to “blow” S.D. Another time, Lieutenant Zsuzsanna Rogoshewski said: “That’s her over there, that’s who’s sleeping with the [high-ranking official],” referring to Officer Schiavone and S.D.
The Third Circuit recently addressed when a bonus an employee receives from someone other than his or her employer counts toward the employee’s “regular hourly rate” of pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
The FLSA is a federal law that, among other things, requires employers to pay most non-exempt employees time-and-a-half when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. As a result, the higher the employee’s regular hourly rate, the higher the overtime pay premium the employee is entitled to receive.
The case involves employees of Bristol Excavating Inc., an excavation contractor, who work at sites owned by another company, Talisman Energy Inc. Since the employees work 12 ½ hour shifts every day for two straight weeks, followed by a week off, they routinely work substantial overtime hours.
On July 26, 2019, New Jersey’s Appellate Division issued a detailed ruling regarding the non-compete and non-solicitation provisions in ADP, LLC’s stock option plan. In the process, the court provided a detailed explanation of how New Jersey courts should analyze restrictive covenants.
The appeal stems from separate cases ADP filed against six of its former sales representatives, Erik Kusins, Ryan Hopper, Anthony M. Karamitas, Nick LeNoble, Michael DeMarco and Daniel Hobaica. They had mixed results at the trial court level. Those cases were consolidated in a single appeal.
ADP has restrictive covenants with most of its sales force. Specifically, most of its sales employees are required to sign agreements that include non-compete and non-solicitation provisions that prohibit them from soliciting any ADP clients who they had contact with at ADP, for 12 months after they stop working for ADP, in the geographical territory in which they worked for ADP.
Today, New Jersey’s Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed an amendment to New Jersey’s wage and hour laws that makes several extremely important improvements.
The amendment impacts several New Jersey laws, most importantly the Wage & Hour Law (“WHL”) and the Wage Payment Act (“WPA”). The WHL is a statute that requires employers to pay employees who do not fall within an exemption minimum wage (currently $10 per hour) and time-and-half when they work more than 40 hours in any particular workweek. The WPA is a law that requires employers to pay employees on time, and typically at least twice per month.
The amendment includes numerous new provisions, all of which go into effect immediately. We have summarized some of the most significant changes below: