The start of the year is a good time for employers to fulfill their requirements to annually distribute certain employment law notices to their employees. In particular, for certain New Jersey employers, there are two employment law notices that must be provided to all employees on an annual basis: the gender equity notice and the whistleblower notice required by the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is charged with enforcing the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, which applies to virtually all private employers. To that end, OSHA has promulgated a substantial set of regulations, or “standards,” with the goal of preventing workplace accidents and improving the quality of workers’ day-to-day work environments.
On January 14, 2014, four members of the New Jersey Senate introduced Bill No. S524, which prohibits employers from requiring credit checks on current or prospective employees. That bill passed the Senate in June of 2015, and was referred to the Assembly for review.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (“DOL”) has determined that the State minimum wage rate will remain unchanged at $8.38 per hour in 2016.
Last week, in Acevedo v. Amex Card Servs. Co., Case No. 28-CA-123865, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) again found that arbitration agreements that include class action waivers are illegal and unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the NLRB's prior decisions in D.R. Horton, Inc. and Murphy Oil USA, Inc. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit subsequently rejected these prior decisions. This more recent case, however, originates in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, which falls under the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Earlier this fall, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will be implementing a new protocol under which OSHA will evaluate inspections based on their complexity and need for resources.
On Wednesday, October 21, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a package of eight bills that originally were part of his Women’s Equality Act, which he first introduced in 2013. Five of these new laws pertain to discrimination in employment and include the following:
In 2003, the Borgata Hotel-Casino began hiring “costumed beverage servers” known as “BorgataBabes.” Borgata sought to have the BorgataBabes reflect “the fun, upscale, sensual, international image that is consistent with the Borgata brand.” The Casino’s offer letter to potential BorgataBabes explained that they were required to abide by Borgata’s Personal Appearance Standard (the “PAS”) to retain their positions. Men and women chosen as BorgataBabes contractually agreed to adhere to the PAS. Among other things, the PAS required the Borgata Babes to be “physically fit” with weight proportional to height. The PAS required female BorgataBabes to have a “natural hourglass shape,” and male BorgataBabes to have a “natural ‘V’ shape with broad shoulders and a slim waist.” The PAS also provided for other grooming and appearance guidelines, including makeup and facial hair maintenance.
With summer ending, most employees would likely have used a good portion of their paid time off by now. There are always at least some employees who seemingly never take paid time off, opting instead to save it to get a monetary payout at the end of the year or upon the termination of their employment.
On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) overturned its policy that had existed since 1962, and held that employers remain obligated to withhold from wages and remit union dues to their employees’ union, even after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement that creates the obligation.