New Jersey News & Analysis

  • Snow days: Must you pay when inclement weather keeps workers home?

    In anticipation of snow season, many New Jersey employers have been trying to figure out if and when they must pay employees during work shutdowns caused by severe weather conditions. For the most part, the answer depends on an employee's status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). You must carefully follow the appropriate FLSA regulations and guidance. Otherwise, you could jeopardize an employee's exempt status. Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether to pay employees on snow days—or in any other condition that causes an unexpected workplace closing.

  • Do you have a ghost of a chance against ghosting?

    If you're like us (and Seth Meyers), you might have a hard time keeping up with all the latest slang terms having to do with new technologies and trends in social interactions and other aspects of modern life. One such term is "ghosting," which is when a person just stops responding to text messages, usually from someone they recently started dating. The term has slowly spread to other situations in which one person suddenly disappears from another person's life, including—you guessed it—when an employee or job applicant is a no-show with no communication or explanation to the employer.

  • Agency Action

    NLRB names new solicitor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in December announced the appointment of Fred B. Jacob as its new solicitor. The solicitor is the chief legal adviser and consultant to the Board on all questions of law regarding its general operations and on major questions of law and policy concerning the adjudication of NLRB cases in the courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The solicitor also serves as the Board's legal representative and liaison to the General Counsel and other offices of the agency. Jacob has spent more than two decades practicing labor law and advising federal agencies on ethics, administrative law, and government operations.

  • Workplace Trends

    Survey finds lack of understanding of when workers will retire. U.S. employers are rethinking their approach to managing the retirement patterns of their workforces, according to a study from Willis Towers Watson. The 2018 Longer Working Careers Survey found that 83% of employers have a significant number of employees at or nearing retirement, but just 53% expressed having a good understanding of when their employees will retire. Additionally, while 81% say managing the timing of their employees' retirements is an important business issue, just 25% do that effectively. The survey found that 80% of respondents view older employees as crucial to their success.

  • Union Activity

    UAW lodges objection to GM announcement. The United Auto Workers (UAW) in December lodged a formal objection to General Motors' (GM) plan to close four American auto plants in 2019. The complaint objected to what the union called GM's unilateral decision on the future of those facilities. The UAW said the decision was made without the union's agreement, which it says is required by the 2015 National Agreement. "We have been clear that the UAW will leave no stone unturned and use any and all resources available to us regarding the future of these plants," UAW President Gary Jones said. He added that UAW members across the country "are committed to using every means available to us on behalf of our brothers and sisters" at the plants in Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Agency Action

    EEOC announces increases in outreach, enforcement for 2018. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted increases in its 2018 outreach and enforcement actions as it released its annual Performance and Accountability Report in November 2018. Highlights in the report include the launch of a nationwide online inquiry and appointment system as part of the EEOC's Public Portal, which resulted in a 30 percent increase in inquiries and over 40,000 intake interviews. The report also noted that the EEOC's outreach programs reached 398,650 individuals, providing them with information about employment discrimination and their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

  • Workplace Trends

    Turnover hits all-time high. Research from Salary.com indicates that total workplace turnover in the United States hit an all-time high in 2018, reaching 19.3%. That's nearly a full percentage point from 2017 and more than 3.5% since 2014. The report contains data from nearly 25,000 participating organizations of varying sizes in the United States. By industry, hospitality (31.8%), health care (20.4%), and manufacturing and distribution (20%) had the highest rates of total turnover. Utilities (10.3%), insurance (12.8%), and banking and finance (16.7%) had the lowest. By area of the country, the South Central region (20.4%) and the West (20.3%) had the highest rates of total turnover. The Northeast (17.3%) had the lowest rate of total turnover in the country.

  • Are NJ courts going too far to nix arbitration agreements? Possible FAA collision ahead

    New Jersey Employment Law Letter readers will recognize a recurring theme in this discussion: our state courts' struggle to determine arbitration agreements' enforceability. A recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision struck a note in counterpoint to the theme by reversing a trial court's order that had compelled arbitration of a former employee's New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) claims.

  • How to claim paid family and medical leave tax credit

    The tax reform law passed late last year contained a little-noticed tax credit for employers that provide employees paid "family and medical" leave and meet certain other requirements. While the IRS hasn't finalized regulations pinning down the specifics of the new credit, it recently issued some helpful guidance. Let's take a look.