Sanrdo Polledri

Q. Our company has an office in Philadelphia. Can we ask about an applicant’s criminal and arrest record when recruiting employees to work there?

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In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court in June rejected class-action status for an estimated 1.5 million female employees who brought gender-discrimination claims against Walmart, the country’s largest private employer. The issue before the High Court wasn’t whether Walmart discriminates against women, but whether the 1.5 million-member class was legitimate.

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The New Jersey Supreme Court has just made it easier for whistle-blowers to recover back-pay damages. In Donelson v. DuPont Chambers Works, the state’s highest court expanded the definition of “adverse employment action” and held that an employee can recover lost wages if the employer’s retaliation caused a disability that made the employee unable to continue working.

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Q. Our company has an office in Philadelphia. Can we ask about an applicant’s criminal and arrest record when recruiting employees to work there?

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Q. What are our obligations to inform employees of their rights against retaliation if they report wrongdoing at work?

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Q. What restrictions exist on advertising for job vacancies? We are flooded with applications and have considered limiting applications to the currently employed. We worry the unemployed have rusty skills. Can we say we won’t consider hiring unemployed people?

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In 2007, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination was amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity or expression.” To minimize the possibility of discrimination against transgender employees in your workplace, follow these tips:

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Q. Are there specific rules on when I must pay my employees?

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Can an employee who wants to prove discrimination take, copy and dis­close company documents? How does that square with the company’s right to protect what it deems to be confidential information? The New Jersey Supreme Court ­recently offered some guidance on this issue in Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright.

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Q. We keep hearing that retaliation can be a bigger lawsuit worry for employers than even discrimination or harassment. What kinds of employment laws impose retaliation liability?

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