Employment and Employee Benefits
Please click here to view responses to frequently asked questions on employment law and employee benefits.
- NJ SAFE Act: Unpaid Leave for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence (Sept. 2013)
Effective October 1, 2013, under the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE Act), New Jersey employers with 25 or more employees must provide up to 20 days of unpaid leave during a 12-month period to eligible employees when the employees or certain family members of the employees have been victimized by “an incident of domestic violence” or “a sexually violent offense.”
- New Jersey Employers May Not Retaliate Against Employees Who Request Certain Information from Coworkers (Sept. 2013)
On August 29, 2013, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination was amended to prohibit employer retaliation against an employee who requests certain types of information from coworkers in connection with a potential discrimination claim.
- New Jersey Employers May Be Penalized for Failure to Timely and Adequately Respond to Informational Requests from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (Sept. 2013)
New Jersey employers that fail to timely respond to requests from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDLWD) for information relating to employees’ claims for unemployment compensation or temporary disability insurance benefits may be penalized.
- New Jersey Enacts Social Media Privacy Protection Law (Sept. 2013)
Effective December 1, 2013, New Jersey joins an expanding list of states that prohibit employers from requesting employees and job applicants to provide access to their private social media accounts.
- Moving Forward After DOMA (August 2013)
The Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act's exclusion of state-sanctioned same-sex marriages from the federal definition of “marriage,” resulting in myriad changes to the administration of retirement, health, and welfare plans.
- EEOC Issues Updated Guidance Regarding an Employer's Use of Criminal Records When Making Employment Decisions (Nov. 2012)
In April 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued updated guidance on the rules governing an employer's use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. This article discusses how criminal background checks, when improperly used, may unwittingly make an employer liable for disparate impact discrimination under Title VII. It also explains the EEOC's suggested best practices for employers. Posted with the permission of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
- Background Checks for Youth Serving Nonprofits in New Jersey: An Overview and Considerations (Rev. Nov. 2012)
This article briefly overviews the considerations nonprofits, particularly youth serving organizations, should weigh in deciding whether to conduct background checks, the options available, and the factors to consider when reviewing the results of a criminal history check. The article discusses the 2012 Newark, New Jersey ordinance that restricts employers’ use of criminal history inquires. Although the article focuses on New Jersey law, it contains general information about background checking useful to nonprofits in other states.
- Paying Employees in the Aftermath of a Natural Disaster (Nov. 2012)
Following a natural disaster, employers may wonder if they must pay employees if their offices were closed, or if their offices were open and employees did not come to work. This article generally summarizes the relevant wage and hour rules.
- Section 403(b) Plans: What Nonprofit Sponsors of Employee Retirement Plans Need to Know (Rev. June 2011)
This article provides an introductory primer on some of the significant regulations issued by the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor pertaining to the operation of Section 403(b) Pension Plans. This article also briefly explains how a Section 403(b) Plan can be exempt from ERISA and some basic difference between Section 403(b) Plans and Section 401(k) Plans.
- The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act (April 2011)
The New York Wage Theft Prevention Act impacts all New York State employers. This article provides a summary of the law’s requirements and offers recommendations for compliance. In general, the law requires additional notice and recordkeeping by employers, increases penalties (both civil and criminal) for violations of wage and hour laws, provides increased protection against retaliation for workers who complain, and provides new administrative avenues for investigations and implementation of penalties regarding underpayment of wages.
- Immigration's Alphabet Soup: What You Need to Know About Visas (December 2010)
This article provides an overview of the major temporary (non-immigrant) and permanent (immigrant) visa options for foreign nationals working in the United States.
- Legal Implications of Bedbug Eradication Efforts at Nonprofits (November 2010)
Bedbug infestations are an increasingly common problem in residences, businesses, and nonprofit facilities. Infestations can be hard to manage in scenarios where employee and client exposures to the pesticides and treatments necessary to eliminate bedbugs must be balanced with the need to take affirmative steps to eliminate the infestation. This memorandum briefly discusses the legal considerations related to eliminating bedbugs in the workplace and offers practical suggestions for employee communications and workplace practice controls.
- The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act: A Workplace Overview (September 2010)
This articles discusses the impact of the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act on New Jersey employers and provides some practical suggestions for employers with respect to their existing human resources policies.
- A Nonprofit's Guide to OSHA (February 2010)
This guide provides an overview of health and safety regulations that generally apply to nonprofit organizations. It includes practical suggestions for conducting a self-assessment of an organization’s health and safety practices, a discussion of the OSHA inspection process, and guidance with respect to responding to pandemic influenza events.
- Social Media Policies: What They Are and Why Your Organization Should Have One (January 2010)
Millions of people regularly access and post on social media websites like Facebook. Unfortunately, an employee's inappropriate use of social media can create significant problems for a nonprofit employer organization. The Partnership recommends that nonprofit employers consider adopting a social media policy, which provides guidelines to your employees for the appropriate use of social media.
- Influenza Preparedness: Tips for Employers (October 2009)
These articles provide nonprofits with general guidance on crafting a written workplace communicable illness response program in advance of an influenza outbreak. Posted with the permission of Nixon Peabody LLP.
- Criminal History Record Background Checking: Step-by-Step Guide for New Jersey Nonprofit Youth Serving Organizations (October 2009)
This article describes the procedures that youth serving charities in New Jersey may follow to obtain criminal history background information on employees and volunteers.
- New Jersey Imposes Criminal Penalties on Those Who Permit Sex Offenders to Work in Youth Serving Organizations (October 2009)
In New Jersey, it is unlawful for a sex offender to serve, in a paid or unpaid capacity, in a nonprofit or for-profit youth serving organization. A person who knowingly hires, engages, or appoints a sex offender to serve in a youth serving organization may be found guilty of a crime and subject to fines and/or imprisonment. This article summarizes the key points of the law.
- Using Shared Work Plans as an Alternative to Layoffs (September 2009)
This article briefly discusses shared work programs, available in Connecticut and New York. Rather than conducting a layoff, an employer may implement a shared work plan in which overall employee hours are reduced and lost wages are supplemented by partial unemployment insurance.
- Conducting an Employee Termination Meeting (June 2009)
This article provides some practical tips for conducting an employee termination meeting.
- Checklist for a Reduction in Force in Troubled Times (June 2009)
This article provides a general outline of issues to consider before implementing a reduction in force.
- Understanding Affirmative Action Plan and Government Reporting Obligations Applicable to Federal Government Contractors and Subcontractors (April 2009)
This article explains the affirmative action plan and reporting requirements (EEO-1 and VETS 100/100A Reports) that are applicable to employers that are federal contractors and subcontractors, as required by federal Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.
- Best Practices for Compensation Audits (April 2009)
This article overviews what an audit of an organization’s compensation practices involves and how such an audit can reduce an organization’s exposure to claims from employees that their pay has been negatively impacted by illegal discrimination. Posted with the permission of Proskauer Rose LLP.
- Avoiding Potential Employment Pitfalls in Tough Economic Times (February 2009)
This article overviews certain creative, though impermissible compensation practices employers have considered implementing to cut costs. Posted with the permission of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
- Internal Investigations Checklist (February 2009)
This article provides an extensive, though not exhaustive, overview of the steps to be taken during an internal investigation, and includes sample questions.
- What to Do When You Have to Lay Off an Employee - What Every Nonprofit Should Know (January 2009)
This article overviews the basic steps in planning for reductions in force. Posted with the permission of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
- Nonprofit Executive Compensation (June 2007)
This article overviews the IRS requirements to establish a rebuttable presumption that compensation paid to a nonprofit executive is reasonable. Posted with the permission of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program.
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