In early 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a series of bills aimed at identifying and penalizing entities for misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Yesterday, Governor Murphy signed four additional laws into effect to build upon and expand these efforts: A5890, A5892, A5891, and A1171.

These laws build upon

On June 4, 2021, the New Jersey legislature passed legislation (A5820/S3866) enabling the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in place since March 9, 2020. Under the legislation, the majority of New Jersey’s COVID-19 related Executive Orders will lapse on July 4, 2021. The legislation specifically keeps fourteen Executive Orders in place until January 1, 2022 (which may be subject to further extension):

  • Executive Order 106 (Eviction Moratorium)
  • Executive Order 111 (Healthcare reporting)
  • Executive Order 112 (COVID-19 Health Care Responders)
  • Executive Order 123 (Insurance Premium Grace Periods)
  • Executive Order 127 (Rulemaking Deadlines)
  • Executive Order 150 (Outdoor Dining Protocols and Process to Expand Premises for Liquor License Holders)
  • Executive Order 159 (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
  • Executive Order 170  (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
  • Executive Order 178  (Extension of Certain Statutory Deadlines)
  • Executive Order 207 (Enrollment in NJ Immunization Information System)
  • Executive Order 229 (Utility Shut-off Moratorium)
  • Executive Order 233 (Stimulus Payments Exempt from garnishment)
  • Executive Order 237 (Summer Youth Overnight and Day Camps)
  • Executive Order 242 (Lifting of Restrictions)


Continue Reading Many NJ COVID-related Executive Orders set to expire July 4

As previously discussed, on May 24, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the lifting of COVID-19 mask requirements for certain employers, while continuing to require masks for others. In a point of frustration for many New Jersey employers, the requirements seemed to require masking and social distancing in an inconsistent manner, and imposed

UPDATE: On May 26, 2021, Governor Murphy announced that he will be signing another Executive Order, effective Friday, June 4, 2021, that will: (1) Allow employers to implement policies for vaccinated employees to forego masking & social distancing; and (2) Rescind the requirement for mandatory remote work arrangements.  We will provide further guidance on these

Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, in January 2020, Governor Murphy signed into law sweeping changes to New Jersey’s mini-WARN act. The first-of-its-kind law in the nation required mandatory severance payments for employees who lost their jobs in a mass layoff. We discussed details of the changes here. The law was scheduled to

New Jersey has confirmed that employers can mandate their employees be vaccinated for COVID-19. This move aligns New Jersey with federal guidance previously issued by the EEOC. Other states, such as California, have also issued similar guidance and the trend is expected to continue.

Consistent with federal guidance from the EEOC, the New Jersey guidance provides that employers may require employees to be vaccinated to be present on the worksite, however, employers must provide reasonable accommodations for employees who: (i) have a disability, (ii) have been advised not to get the vaccine while pregnant or breastfeeding, or (iii) who will not get the vaccine due to sincerely held religious beliefs. Note, however, that if no reasonable accommodation can be provided, an employer can enforce its policy of excluding unvaccinated employees from the workplace.
Continue Reading New Jersey issues guidance confirming employers can mandate COVID-19 vaccines

On February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (NJCREAMMA) and other related bills into law which legalize and regulate recreational cannabis use and possession for adults over the age of 21.  With the enactment of NJCREAMMA, New Jersey now prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for off-duty recreational marijuana use (or decision not to use).  These requirements are effective immediately.

Prior to the enactment of NJCREAMMA, New Jersey employers were prohibited from discriminating against individuals who are certified to use medical marijuana and required to engage in the interactive process with employees who request accommodations for medical marijuana use.  NJCREAMMA extends the discrimination prohibitions to recreational marijuana users and prohibits employers from refusing to hire, discharging, or taking “any adverse action against an employee with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or other privileges of employment because that person does or does not smoke, vape, aerosolize or otherwise use cannabis items.”  In addition, these prohibitions extend to positive drug tests where solely cannabinoid metabolites are present in the employee’s system.
Continue Reading New Jersey legalizes recreational marijuana use: What this means for employers

As we have previously reported, several states, including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, now require employees, customers and/or the public to wear face coverings.  As we have also written about, in other states, like California, local governments are leading the way.  For example, Bay Area counties Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, and Contra Costa all require face coverings to some degree.  Since then, additional California municipalities have also joined, including San Bernardino, Riverside, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Carson, Inglewood, Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pasadena.  Links to our prior publications on these location-specific mandates can be found below.

Other states and municipalities continue to follow suit.  As of April 17, employees of essential businesses in Hawaii must wear face coverings.  On April 18, Maryland established a similar requirement for employees, as well as customers over nine years of age. Like California, in states that are not currently requiring face coverings, some local governments have taken the initiative to establish their own requirements.  For example, in Illinois, Cicero, Glenview, Highland Park, Morton Grove, Niles, Skokie and Wilmette have each implemented some type of face covering requirement.  Municipalities in other states that have joined the movement include Laredo, Texas; Miami, Florida; Northampton, Massachusetts; and Chickasaw, Oklahoma.
Continue Reading Employers must face it: Face covering requirements growing across states and municipalities

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

Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation yesterday, January 21, 2020, amending New Jersey’s mini-WARN law, the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (the “Act”). Most notable among the changes is the requirement that companies with 100 or more employees (now including part-time workers) pay severance to employees impacted by a mass layoff. A “mass layoff” is considered any plant closing or transfer resulting in 50 or more employees losing their jobs.

Pursuant to the Act, impacted employees must receive at least one week of pay for every year of service as a severance payment. When calculating the amount of severance pay, the rate of pay must be the greater of the employee’s average rate of compensation during the last three years or the employee’s final rate of pay. If the employee is entitled to a greater amount of severance under any contract, policy, or collective bargaining agreement, the employee must receive the greater amount. The Act classifies the severance payments as “compensation due to an employee” that has been “earned in full,” so that employees who do not receive the required severance have a priority claim if the employer files for bankruptcy.

Continue Reading New Jersey law requires severance pay in mass layoffs