- Of Counsel
In re Plan for the Abolition of Council On Affordable Housing. The Court held that because COAH is an independent agency, the Governor did not have the authority under the Reorganization Act to abolish it and transfer its powers to the Department of Community Affairs. The Court was careful to state more than once that it takes no position on whether COAH should or should not exist. Rather, it was deciding the issue, not previously addressed, as to whether the Reorganization Act extends to independent agencies (agencies that are “in but not of” the Executive Branch), or whether it is limited solely to agencies that are within the Executive Branch.) The Court concluded the Act applies only to the latter. The Court stated: “As Judge Carchman [of the Appellate Division] aptly noted, ‘[t]he issue in this case is not whether COAH should or should not be an active participant in developing and implementing policies for affordable housing in New Jersey. Recent events have demonstrated that both the Legislature and the Governor are committed to charting another course for the future of affordable housing in this State. [In re COAH, supra, 424 N.J. Super. at 438.]’ We do not attempt to chart that course in this opinion. Instead, we examine the process the law requires. The plain language of the Reorganization Act does not authorize the Chief Executive to abolish an independent agency like COAH. If the Governor and the Legislature wish to abolish COAH, they must take another path.” The import of the decision for municipalities is that COAH continues to exist. To see a syllabus of the decision, click here.
Elizabeth Zuckerman, Esq. will be conducting a virtual course on October 13, 2020 - Know Your Rights as an Employee. Topics include harassment, hostile work environment and discrimination on the basis of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability and other protected statuses. The concept of reasonable accommodation and the interactive process will be explored. There will be discussion regarding the New Jersey whistle-blower law, wage and hour laws, family leave laws, non-compete agreements, new employee protections as a result of COVID-19 and common law claims, such as breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In addition, hypothetical employment claims based on real life employment experiences will be discussed. Register at https://www.ssreg.com/princeton/classes/results.asp?code=120.
Edwin W. Schmierer, Esq., a firm Director, will be an instructor for the New Jersey Planning Official’s Planning and Zoning Board members training session in Somerset County on October 3, 2020. Mr. Schmierer chairs the firm’s Government Practice Group and represents a number of land use boards including the Lawrence Township Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Borough of Pennington Joint Planning and Zoning Board of Adjustment and the West Windsor Zoning Board of Adjustment. The New Jersey Planning Officials can be reached at [email protected] for any land use board member interested in attending the training session.
Click Link Here to read important information regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
In a recent decision (Justin Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc.), the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that an employee who is fired for using medical marijuana outside the workplace may bring a claim for disability discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Mason, Griffin & Pierson Attorney, Elizabeth Zuckerman, who argued the cause for Amicus Curiae National Employment Lawyers Association of New Jersey, stated the "decision is a win for employees who test positive for marijuana due to their lawful use of medical marijuana outside the workplace."