New Jersey Employment Beat

On October 28, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 192, which will require a series of workplace protections for workers beginning on November 5, 2020.  Importantly, nothing in Executive Order 192 repeals, supersedes, or modifies the requirement of Executive Order 107 that requires businesses to “accommodate their workforce, wherever practical, for telework or work-from home arrangements.”  Employers with in-person staffing are also expected to keep staffing to the “minimum number necessary” and to abide by all other restrictions regarding indoor capacity limitations.

Now, in addition to the prior requirements, workplaces that require or permit a workforce to be physically present at a worksite must, at minimum:
Continue Reading New Jersey implements additional safeguards for workers in response to rising COVID-19 cases

On June 9, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Twitter that he was “signing an Executive Order LIFTING [New Jersey’s] STAY-AT-HOME ORDER” as the state enters “Phase 2” of the recovery process.  Many news outlets and employers took this announcement to mean there would be significant changes for New Jersey businesses.  However, the executive orders the Governor signed on June 9, 2020 brought only incremental change and will not adjust operations for most New Jersey office workers.

As New Jersey continues on the road to recovery, Executive Order 152 eliminates the earlier requirement that mandated (with limited exceptions) that New Jersey residents remain at home.  This Order, however (along with many of the recent New Jersey executive orders slowly lifting Covid-19 restrictions) is focused more on recreational and personal activities than workplace operations.  Specifically, the Order adjusts requirements for permissible indoor and outdoor gatherings, allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people and indoor gatherings of up to 25% of a building’s capacity, to a maximum of 50 people.  Such gatherings are also subject to several additional requirements, including wearing face coverings, demarcating six feet, and arranging for contactless payment for any fees and/or donations wherever feasible.Continue Reading New Jersey “lifts” stay at home order – but little changes for most employers

New Jersey started the reopening process, lifting restrictions on certain business operations the State previously shut down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As employers in these industries resume operations, there are many legal considerations, including adopting policies and practices to ensure compliance with the State’s required mitigation efforts.

While New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is permitting many outdoor industries to reopen as the summer season approaches, these businesses will remain subject to an array of legal requirements. The specific requirements for each industry are laid out in a series of Executive Orders signed by Governor Murphy, including: EO 142 (non-essential construction, non-essential retail), EO 143 (beaches & boardwalks), EO 146 (charter boats and watercraft rentals), and EO 147 (outdoor recreation). While the exact requirements vary by industry, all of the requirements are aimed at maintaining social distancing, limiting person-to-person contact, and mitigating exposure risks for employees and customers.Continue Reading New Jersey slowly begins lifting operating restrictions for certain industries

As the Garden State continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order 125, expanding the industries subject to additional mitigation requirements.  This Executive Order includes similar requirements to those set forth in Executive Order 122, discussed here, but applies these requirements to the Restaurant and Transportation Industries.

Bars and dining establishments are already subject to restrictions limiting their services to delivery and takeout.  Under Executive Order 125, they must also adopt policies that, at a minimum:
Continue Reading New Jersey implements additional mitigation requirements for restaurants and transit providers

On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed bill S2374 into law, marking the second time since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak that the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) has been amended. Our blog post about the prior change is available here. The NJFLA, which covers all employers in the state with 30

On April 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed S-2353, which amends the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (New Jersey’s mini-WARN statute) in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we previously reported here, New Jersey amended its mini-WARN statute in January 2020. Among the January amendments was the requirement that employers who conduct a covered “mass layoff” pay affected employees severance equivalent to one week’s pay for each year of employment. The January 2020 amendment was set to go into effect on July 19, 2020. Yesterday’s amendments resulting from S-2353 provide employers with some much-needed relief from these requirements.
Continue Reading New Jersey amends mini-Warn Act amid COVID-19 pandemic, providing some relief to employers

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed the reinstatement of an employee’s complaint alleging disability discrimination based on his registered medical marijuana user status, reasoning that the employee was entitled to disability protections despite violating the employer’s drug policies.  This case, as well as recent amendments to the state’s medical marijuana law, indicate that employers in New Jersey should engage in the interactive process when considering accommodation requests from registered users and should not take any adverse action against a registered user simply because of their status. 

Continue Reading New Jersey’s wild ride – The status of cannabis user employment protections and how we got here

As the Garden State continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 122 on April 8, 2020, imposing additional restrictions on businesses permitted to continue operating.  The Order takes effect at 8 p.m. on April 10, 2020 and expands on Governor Murphy’s earlier Stay at Home Order requiring the closure of non-essential retail businesses.  The Order imposes requirements on the operations of essential businesses, requires all employers to adopt policies pertaining to potential exposures in the workplace, and requires that owners of buildings where essential businesses operate implement cleaning protocols.
Continue Reading Governor Murphy issues Executive Order further limiting business operations in New Jersey

On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed S2304, which amends the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law, the New Jersey Family Leave Act, and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Law. The changes are aimed at making job-protected leave and paid benefits available to more employees amid the current COVID-19 epidemic.

By way of background, in certain circumstances: the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave law requires employers to provide paid sick leave benefits; the New Jersey Family Leave Act requires certain employers to provide job-protected leaves of absence to eligible employees, including to care for a family member with a serious medical condition; and the Temporary Disability Law provides paid benefits to employees, including for their own non-work-related disabling condition or to care for a family member.
Continue Reading New Jersey amends family leave and benefits laws amid coronavirus concerns

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on Saturday, March 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued an executive order that takes effect at 9:00 p.m.  The order prohibits social gatherings and contains a “remain home” directive absent proscribed needs, like obtaining food, seeking medical services, visiting family, attending religious services, engaging in outdoor recreation while social distancing, or reporting to or performing your job.  Although the order specifically permits New Jersey residents to leave their homes for work, the order limits the operations of certain New Jersey businesses as follows:
Continue Reading New Jersey issues “remain home” directive and limits on business operations