• Posts by Maxine (Mickey) Neuhauser
    Member of the Firm

    Attorney Mickey Neuhauser devotes her practice to helping employers make the right decisions. Whether she’s responding to harassment or wrongful termination claims, training in-house teams, or providing day-to-day ...

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On May 14, 2024, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (“DCR”) released Guidance on Discrimination and Out-of-State Remote Workers (“the Guidance”), explaining the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination’s (NJLAD) application to remote employees. Noting the rise of telework following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Guidance states that the NJLAD is not limited to protecting only New Jersey-based employees but takes the position that it protects aggrieved employees of New Jersey employers “regardless of their ...

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Many employers commonly ignore requests from the New Jersey Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance (“Division”) to provide the reason they terminated an employee’s employment.  With the recent amendments to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Law (UCL), effective July 31, 2023 (the Amendments), employers should rethink that practice.  This, among other changes to the UCL, should dramatically alter the way employers deal with New Jersey unemployment compensation claims.

Summarized below are key takeaways from the Amendments.

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The wait is over. On January 10, 2023, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed bills S3162/A4768 into law thereby making April 10, 2023 the effective date for the sweeping amendments to the state’s WARN Act  (“NJ WARN Act”), which had been placed on hold for three years due to the pandemic.

With the pause lifted, the new, and some would say Draconian, provisions will kick-in in less than three months.

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Effective November 16, 2022,  non-governmental health care entities must offer eligible employees continued employment for at least four months following a change in control without any reduction in their wages and benefits – including paid time off, health care, retirement, and education benefits in accordance with Senate Bill No. 315 (the Law).  Change in control includes sales, transfers, assignments, mergers, and reorganizations and is deemed to “occur on the date of execution of the document effectuating the change.”

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On August 1, 2022, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) adopted new and amended regulations concerning the “Display of Official Posters of the Division on Civil Rights,” which require employers, housing providers, and places of public accommodation to prominently display “in places easily visible” to those who would be affected by violations of these laws, posters created by DCR to inform individuals and covered entities of their rights and obligations under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA).

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On October 5, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A681 (“Law”) into law, strengthening the state’s protections against age discrimination by amending the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) to:

  • delete the provision that had allowed employers not to hire or to promote employees over age 70 because of their age;
  • delete the provision that permitted higher education institutions to require tenured employees to retire at 70 years old; and
  • provide that an employee may seek all remedies permitted by the LAD if required to retire because of age, instead of being limited to ...
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On February 22, 2021, Governor Murphy signed three separate cannabis reform bills into law that formally legalize the use and possession of recreational marijuana in the Garden state: (1) the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (the “Cannabis Act”) (NJ A21), which legalizes the recreational use and possession of cannabis or cannabis products (collectively “cannabis items”) for adults; (2) a  decriminalization law (NJ A1897), which legalizes the possession of up to six ounces of cannabis and provides for ...

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We previously discussed the EEOC’s proposed new wellness program incentive rules under the ADA and GINA in our post, How Big Can the Carrot Be?  The proposed rules were to replace the EEOC’s previous “health-contingent” wellness program regulations, which had been struck down by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia because they allegedly permitted large incentives that the court found were essentially coercive and thus in violation of the ADA and GINA proscriptions permitting only voluntary disclosures of disability or genetic-related information ...

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Many employers have established wellness programs to promote employee health and, in doing so, help counter the ever increasing costs associated with employer-sponsored health benefit plans. Often employers want to establish programs that provide employees with incentives to achieve certain health outcomes, such as smoking cessation or weight loss. Employers must exercise caution in creating such health-contingent wellness programs, which necessarily require employees to disclose health information, because the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the ...

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The first COVID-19 vaccines have started being shipped across the U.S. with the expectation that millions of doses will be administered over the next few weeks, with many times more over the coming months.  This is unequivocally good news and reason for optimism.  Meanwhile, however, the pandemic continues to spread nationwide and the numbers are rising rapidly.

The unabated second wave spike of COVID-19 infections arriving with the holiday season and our traditional time for gatherings has led governors, mayors and health departments across the country to tighten restrictions on ...

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With New Jersey experiencing a second wave spike of COVID-19 infections and with holiday season gatherings upon us, on November 30, 2020 Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order 204 (“EO 204” or the “Order”) tightening restrictions on outdoor gatherings and pausing indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports.

Indoor Youth and Adult Sports

With limited exception, EO 204 prohibits youth and adult indoor sports practices, competitions, and other organized sporting activities from December 5, 2020 until January 2, 2012. The prohibition will not affect ...

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Prompted by the many new telework or remote work arrangements that have arisen in response to COVID-19, on August 24, 2020, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2020-5 (“Bulletin”) to provide guidance regarding employers’ obligation “to exercise reasonable diligence in tracking teleworking employees’ hours of work.” The guidance, which includes citations to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the DOL’s interpretive regulations, and federal case law, does not break new ground; ...

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The beginning of the school year has added to a mire of uncertainty of how to manage work and family in our current COVID-19 world. Some schools have reopened to full-time in-person classes, while others have adopted full-time remote learning; still others have opted a hybrid model that mixes the two, and some give parent the choice of whether to send their children to school or have them login. Added to this, decisions once made are subject to reversal, if new COVID-19 cases enter the picture.  So now, on top of everything else that the COVID-19 crisis has affected, working parents must try ...

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As employers begin to develop and implement plans for reopening and staff return to the workplace, they should be mindful of industry-specific requirements and guidance, which may apply where they operate.  Following are some examples that typify the sorts of industry-related requirements various states and municipalities have implemented:

  • Connecticut’s reopening requirements for hotels and restaurants overlap, but are not identical. For example, both hotels and indoor sections of restaurants may welcome guests at up to 50 percent capacity, and both require that ...
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On June 13, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 154 (“EO 154”), permitting the reopening of “personal care service facilities,” at 6:00 a.m. on June 22, 2020, provided the facilities comply with mandated social distancing and other health safeguarding requirements.  Specifically, EO 154 covers, “cosmetology shops; barber shops; beauty salons; hair braiding shops; nail salons; electrology facilities; spas, including day spas and medical spas, at which solely elective and cosmetic medical procedures are performed; massage parlors ...

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On April 7, 2020, the California Court of Appeals (the “Court”) upheld summary judgment for two professional employer organizations (referred to in the decision as a “staffing agencies”) accused of harassment and discrimination by one of its “leased” employees. In Ducksworth v. Tri-Modal Distribution Services, the Court found that joint employers—and more specifically staffing agencies—cannot be held liable for harassment and discrimination claims absent a showing that they participated in or were involved in the alleged wrongful conduct.

Plaintiffs ...

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On April 30, 2020, the California Supreme Court (“Court”) ruled that claims brought pursuant to California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and the False Advertising Law (“FAL”) are not entitled to a jury trial.

In Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. et al., v. The Superior Court of Alameda County, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) brought an action against Nationwide Biweekly Administration, Inc. (“Nationwide”) and others, alleging that Nationwide and the other defendants falsely advertised their services and as a ...

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On the heels of adding Return to Work guidance to its technical assistance for employers, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Law” (discussed  here),  on April 23, 2020 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued an update addressing COVID-19 testing by employers. This latest guidance acknowledges that COVID-19 presents a direct threat to the health of others sufficient to justify testing.  It cautions, however, that employers should only use tests that are “accurate and reliable.” Specifically ...

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On April 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) once again updated its technical assistance for employers, titled “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”

Previously, the EEOC (i) on March 17, 2020, issued initial guidance on COVID-19 in a series of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) (discussed here) (ii) on March 19, updated its publication titled “Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act,” to address issues specifically concerning ...

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On April 14, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a new amendment (“New Amendment”) to the New Jersey Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act, commonly referred to as the New Jersey WARN Act (“NJ WARN Act”), which was modified in January of this year, to among other things, require payment of severance to eligible employees who suffer a NJ WARN Act covered termination of employment and to require 90 days’ notice of such terminations (the “January Amendment,” which we discussed previously here).

The New Amendment, which was driven by ...

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On April 14, 2020, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2374) (the “Law”), amending the New Jersey Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”) leave.  Under the Law, which repeals and replaces a March 25, 2020 amendment to the NJFLA about which we wrote here,  eligible employees will be entitled to job protected leave to care for a family member as a result of an epidemic of a communicable disease, or efforts to prevent spread of a communicable disease, which:

(a)   requires in-home care or treatment of a child due to the closure of the school or place of care of the child of the employee, by ...

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UPDATE: On August 10, 2020, the NJDOL formally adopted the temporary rule without change.

On March 20, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (“Law”) prohibiting employers from taking any adverse employment action against employees who take, or request, time off due to an infectious disease that could affect others at work based on a written recommendation of a New Jersey licensed medical professional.  The Law, which we summarized in a previous article, became effective upon enactment.

On April 1, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development ...

Blogs
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In a news conference on March 20, 2020, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all nonessential New York State private businesses and nonprofits to reduce their workforce reporting to work by 100%  The announcement essentially amends Executive Order 202.6 (“Order”), issued by Gov. Cuomo on March 18, 2020, which required a 50% workforce reduction, by no later than March 20th at 8 p.m. (On March 19, 2020 Gov. Cuomo had announced a 75% required reduction, which has now been superseded).

The Order requires businesses and nonprofits to use telecommuting and work-from-home procedures ...

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On March 17, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an article on its website, “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19.”  The article confirms that workplace anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC remain applicable, but that nothing in those laws interferes with or prevents “employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19.”

In addition, the article provides a link to guidance the ...

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On March 10, 2020 the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”), employees who legally use cannabis as permitted by the state’s Compassionate Use of Cannabis of Medical Marijuana Act[i] (“Compassionate Use Act”) may not be fired because they use medical cannabis and that such employees are entitled to reasonable accommodation. In a brief opinion, the Court substantially adopted the Appellate Division’s reasoning in Wild v. Carriage House Funeral Holdings, Inc., about which we previously wrote.

Wild was employed by ...

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We are pleased to present Workforce Bulletin, the newest blog from law firm Epstein Becker Green (EBG). We've combined a decade of posts from five of the firm's well-regarded blogs, spanning employment law topics impacting employers in a range of industries and areas, including financial services, hospitality, OSHA, retail, technology, and more.

Workforce Bulletin will feature thought leadership from EBG attorneys on cutting-edge issues, such as sexual harassment, diversity and inclusion, pay equity, artificial intelligence in the workplace, cybersecurity, and the impact ...

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On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law A 3975 (“the Law”), which significantly expanded the state’s the Family Leave Act ("NJFLA"), Family Leave Insurance Act ("NJFLI"), and Security and Financial Empowerment Act (“SAFE Act”).  We prepared an Act Now Advisory, summarizing the extensive changes made by the Law, including, among other things, the expanding and making uniform the definition of “family member” for all three laws, and, effective June 1, 2019, extending the NJFLA to employers that have 30 or more employees.

In response ...

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On July 21, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to prohibit employers from requesting salary history information from prospective employees.  The legislation had passed easily though the State’s Democratically controlled Senate and Assembly, with votes along party lines.  With the upcoming gubernatorial election in November, employers may expect to see the bill revived and quite possibly enacted – particularly if the next governor is a Democrat. The proposed amendment may be ...

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The EEOC announced a rule change that will more than double the maximum fine for violating Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)  notice posting requirements. Under the new rule, which is projected to become effective the first week of July, employers will face a maximum penalty of $525 per violation -- up from $210.

While most retailers undoubtedly know they must have notices, where the notices are posted matters. The regulations require that they be in a prominent and accessible place where notices to employees ...

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In a decision with ramifications for employers in health, retail, hospitality and other industries serving the public, on October 22, 2015 in a decision, Marina Del Rey Hospital, 363 N.L.R.B. No. 22, 2015 BL 347693, the NLRB confirmed the legality of policies barring employees from the premises when not on duty, which contain an exception permitting off-duty employees to be on the premises as members of the public, e.g., as a patient or a visitor.  The Board found, however, that enforcement of the facially neutral policy to certain employment restrict protected activity constitutes ...

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My colleague Steven M. Swirsky at Epstein Becker Green published a Management Memo blog post concerning U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson granting summary judgment in favor of the NLRB - “Washington Court Dismisses Challenge to NLRB’s Ambush Election Rules.”

Following is an excerpt:

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday issued a 72 page opinion (PDF) rejecting each of the arguments raised by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation and other business groups and found that the Amended Election Rules adopted by the National Labor ...

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My colleagues Nathaniel M. Glasser and Kristie-Ann M. Yamane (a Summer Associate) at Epstein Becker Green have published a Financial Services Employment Law blog post concerning recent modifications to pregnancy discrimination that will be of interest to many of our readers: “EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance.”

Following is an excerpt:

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS, [1]  the EEOC has modified those aspects of its Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues (“Guidance”) that deal with ...

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My colleague Nathaniel M. Glasser recently authored Epstein Becker Green’s Take 5 newsletter.   In this edition of Take 5, Nathaniel highlights five areas of enforcement that U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) continues to tout publicly and aggressively pursue.

  1. Religious Discrimination and Accommodation—EEOC Is Victorious in New U.S. Supreme Court Ruling
  2. Transgender Protections Under Title VII—EEOC Relies on Expanded Sex Discrimination Theories
  3. Systemic Investigations and Litigation—EEOC Gives Priority to Enforcement Initiative
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My colleagues Michael S. Kun and Jeffrey H. Ruzal at Epstein Becker Green has a Wage and Hour Defense blog post that will be of interest to all retailers: “Proposed DOL Rule To Make More White Collar Employees Eligible For Overtime Pay.”

Following is an excerpt:

More than a year after its efforts were first announced, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has finally announced its proposed new rule pertaining to overtime. And that rule, if implemented, will result in a great many “white collar” employees previously treated as exempt becoming eligible for overtime pay for ...

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My colleague Joshua A. Stein at Epstein Becker Green has a Hospitality Labor and Employment Law blog post that will be of interest to many of our readers: “DOJ Further Delays Release of Highly Anticipated Proposed Website Accessibility Regulations for Public Accommodations.”

Following is an excerpt:

For those who have been eagerly anticipating the release of the U.S. Department of Justice’s proposed website accessibility regulations for public accommodations under Title III of the ADA (the “Public Accommodation Website Regulations”), the wait just got even ...

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To register for this complimentary webinar, please click here.

I’d like to recommend an upcoming complimentary webinar, “EEOC Wellness Regulations – What Do They Mean for Employer-Sponsored Programs? (April 22, 2015, 12:00 p.m. EDT) presented by my Epstein Becker Green colleagues Frank C. Morris, Jr. and Adam C. Solander.

Below is a description of the webinar:

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released its long-awaited proposed regulations governing employer-provided wellness programs under the American’s with ...

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My colleagues Frank C. Morris, Jr., Adam C. Solander, and August Emil Huelle co-authored a Health Care and Life Sciences Client Alert concerning the EEOC’s proposed amendments to its ADA regulations and it is a topic of interest to many of our readers.

Following is an excerpt:

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released its highly anticipated proposed regulations (to be published in the Federal Register on April 20, 2015, for notice and comment) setting forth the EEOC’s interpretation of the term “voluntary” as to the ...

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My colleague Lee T. Polk authored Epstein Becker Green’s recent issue of its Take 5 newsletter.   This Take 5 features five considerations suggesting the advantages of employee benefit plans as programs that are beneficial to both employers and employees.

  1. Tax Aspects of Qualified Retirement Plans Can Save Money For Both Employers and Employees
  2. The Benefits of a Contractual Claims Limitation Period
  3. The Benefits of a Contractual Venue Selection Clause
  4. The Standard of Judicial Review in the Context of Top Hat Plan Benefit Disputes
  5. Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client ...
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On Epstein Becker Green’s Management Memo blog, I review New Jersey U.S. District Court’s ruling in Naik v. 7-Eleven that four franchise owner-operators may pursue overtime and minimum wage claims against franchisor 7-Eleven under both the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law (“NJWHL”).

Following is an excerpt from the blog post:

On July 29, 2014 the NLRB’s General Counsel announced a decision to treat McDonald’s, USA, LLC as a joint employer, along with its franchisees, of workers  43 McDonald’s franchised ...

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The issue of joint-employer status has become a prominent issue of concern for retailers, many of which are comprised of franchises or include independent boutiques and counters in their stores. As the NLRB moves towards a broader definition of joint employer status, the  NLRB’s General Counsel’s position in a series of cases involving McDonald’s and numerous franchisees across the country appears to foreshadow the NLRB’s new, more aggressive position on what factors establish the joint employer relationship.

On Epstein Becker Green’s Management Memo blog, Steven ...

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