- Of Counsel
A bill commonly known as “Ban the Box” was recently passed by both Houses of the New Jersey State Legislature. The bill (A1999/S1484) would provide someone with a criminal history certain protections when seeking employment. Known as “The Opportunity to Compete Act”, the bill seeks to prohibit an employer from conducting a criminal background check on employment candidates during the pre-application and application process. Once a qualified candidate has received a conditional offer of employment, an employer would then be authorized to inquire about and consider a candidate’s criminal history, provided that the candidate is given written notice of the criminal background check and consents to it. Depending on the severity of the crime, the bill establishes time lines for how long a conviction may be considered by an employer when making an employment decision. Convictions for certain serious crimes (such as murder, arson, robbery, kidnapping, etc.) can be considered by the employer regardless of when the crime occurred. The bill provides no causes of actions by private parties, but would subject employers to pay fines of $1,000 to $10,000 for failure to comply with the law. At this time, the bill is awaiting action by the Governor.
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."