The HR Specialist: New Jersey Employment Law

Hiring rules that end up excluding many applicants who belong to a protected class can spell big trou­ble. That’s because if the rule has a disparate impact on any particular protected class, it may be invalid and could become the basis for a lawsuit. At a minimum, be prepared to show that the rule is based on business necessity.

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It’s all in the timing: An employee may have a case if her request for FMLA leave is suddenly followed by a reorganization that results in the loss of her job.

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An employee at a Rockaway Dunkin’ Donuts faces prostitution charges after local police caught her supplementing her income by providing additional services. Police had re­­ceived an anonymous tip that the woman was making late-night trips to Dunkin’ Donuts a little sweeter for some patrons.

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Good news for employers vexed by employees’ repetitious and frivolous lawsuits: If a trial court does a good job explaining why a case should be dismissed, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals probably won’t grant an appeal.

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You won’t find many employers extolling the upsides of having a unionized workforce, but there is one advantage. If your union contract provides for a probationary period before an employee becomes a permanent part of your workforce, you may have more discretion in how you discipline the new em­­ployee.

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Employees who quit their jobs aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation benefits unless they legitimately believe they had no choice but to resign. But if an employer makes a genuine effort to help the employee stay and he turns down that offer, he may lose eligibility for unemployment.

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New Jersey and its public employees will pay more for health insurance coverage next year. Rates for 2012 health insurance plans will rise by an average of 9% for active state employees, 3% for retirees and a whopping 10.3% for municipal employees.

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OSHA has cited A-Absolute Construction, based in Roselle, for numerous violations at a Parsippany worksite. OSHA has had its eye on A-Absolute since 2008 when a trench collapse trapped a worker.

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A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order that prohibits a New Jersey hospital from forcing 12 nurses to participate in training or services related to abortions.

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Do you have a zero-tolerance rule against employees who use or possess illegal drugs at work? If you don’t apply it to all employees who break the rule, you will be sued.

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