The HR Specialist: New Jersey Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 3
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The HR Specialist: New Jersey Employment Law

Re­­mind supervisors: If they pile on the work for disabled employees but not everyone else, there’s probably a disability discrimination lawsuit brewing.

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The New Jersey Civil Service Com­­mission has settled a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning its promotion practices for police sergeants. The DOJ alleged the state’s method of scoring and using written examinations had a disparate impact on black and Hispanic officers in violation of Title VII.

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When investigating supervisor sexual har­assment claims, you must conduct a fair workplace investigation, not a criminal probe. As long as the investigation was fair and the conclusion was reasonable, courts won’t interfere.

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Some employees assume that they’ll automatically return to their old positions after taking FMLA and other leave. That’s not necessarily true. Employers are required to guarantee return only if the employee comes back before her 12 weeks of FMLA leave expire.

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It’s common to tell a job applicant he’s hired—as long as a background check doesn’t reveal anything that would disqualify him. But some applicants think such an offer creates a contractual relationship. Under most circumstances, it doesn’t.

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The Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express faces a national overtime lawsuit after a federal district court judge in New York ruled the case could move forward as a class action.

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Employers that want to maintain a productive workplace are smart to set limits on the websites employees can visit. Consider the following case, in which an employer was able to use its Internet policy to terminate an e­mployee whom co-workers and super­visors feared might do them harm.

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Good news if you have offices in New Jersey but employees in other states: Employees can’t sue in New Jersey just to gain the expansive protections available under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD).

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In New Jersey, employees must ordinarily file discrimination claims within two years after the claim arose. But in a series of recent cases, the New Jersey Supreme Court has recognized several exceptions that extend the two-year period in discrimination cases. That’s potentially bad news for employers, because longer filing timelines can make lawsuits harder to defend.

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According to the EEOC, leave may be a reasonable accommodation. If you fire disabled employees without at least considering time off as an accommodation, you might be sued.

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Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, has agreed to settle a gender pay discrimination claim, and the con­sent decree that spells out the terms of the settlement could affect New Jersey women who work for the company. Under the settlement, 124 female pharmaceutical sales specialists will split $250,000.

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The New Jersey Supreme Court has delivered a powerful blow to New Jersey employers that find themselves in the crosshairs of a Conscientious Employee Protection Act lawsuit. It ruled in June that whistle-blowers who suffer retaliation that causes psychological damage can collect lost wages—even if they weren’t fired, but quit instead.

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The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 59% of employees miss work at some point during the year because child- or elder-care arrangements fall through. Home improvement retailer Home Depot has decided to tackle the problem for its employees by providing a backup dependent-care benefit.

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The Equal Pay Act requires employers to pay women and men equally for substantially equal work. Gender can’t be a salary factor. That doesn’t mean employers don’t have considerable flexibility when setting salaries. The fact is that dozens of reasons that have nothing to do with the applicant’s sex may jus­tify different pay scales.

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Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, super­visors can’t be held individually liable for discrimination. However, the little-noticed Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 does allow individual liability for discrimination claims.

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You may have an employee or two with relatives living in foreign lands. While it may not be an issue that comes up often, you should be prepared to handle requests for time off to care for sick relatives overseas. Don’t try to put unreasonable obstacles in the way.

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New Jersey is one of two states in the country where motorists may not pump their own gas. Now the DOL has launched an investigation into whether those full-service pump jockeys are receiving their full pay.

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A lot of factors go into hiring the best possible candidate for a job, including experience, education and employment stability. Those are all legitimate reasons to prefer one candidate over another.

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A federal judge has added two New Jersey women to a national class-­action lawsuit against defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The women claim they were put on slower career paths that provided fewer promotion possibilities and lower pay than men in comparable jobs.

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It’s tough to pin retaliation on a supervisor who never knew about an employee’s original complaint. That’s why it makes sense to limit access to information about employee complaints. For example, there’s no need to share an employee’s discrimination complaint with her supervisor if it doesn’t involve that supervisor or department.

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