Green Savits Employment Law Blog

Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey

January 13, 2016

In Part I of this article, I explained how employers can legally pay servers $2.13 per hour and then use servers’ tips in order to make up the difference between that rate and minimum wage. However, in order to take advantage of what amounts to legal wage theft, employers have to abide by certain requirements.

First, an employer must notify servers that it is taking the tip credit. This can be either oral or written. Second, once the employer takes a tip credit, it must make sure that the employee is at least making minimum wage. If employees are being paid $2.13 per hour and their tips do not bring them to minimum wage, then the...

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January 04, 2016

            Most people are aware of today’s fight over the minimum wage.  Although the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 per hour for many years now, Congress will not allow an increase.  Because of this, President Obama took executive action to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 per hour.  States have taken it upon themselves to raise the minimum wage.  New Jersey voted in 2014 to raise its minimum wage to $8.25 per hour and indexed it to inflation which is why it now stands at $8.38.  I think that most people would agree that $7.25 or $8.38 or even $10.10 per hour is hardly a living wage for full-time...

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December 09, 2015

The phrase “everyone makes mistakes” is often used to discourage people from dwelling on their errors. However, those whose mistakes resulted in criminal records are left with an unshakeable stigma that interferes with their ability to make a living and support themselves and their families. In an effort to provide job applicants with criminal records a fair chance in obtaining employment, “Ban the Box” legislation has been passed in over 100 states, cities and counties and President Obama directed that federal agencies follow suit. This year, both New Jersey and New York City have passed such legislation.

However, despite both...

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August 14, 2015

Just a year and a half ago, the New Jersey legislature passed the New Jersey Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act (“PWFA”), which prohibits pregnancy discrimination and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees. However, the PWFA does not affect an employee’s entitlement to paid or unpaid leave. This begs the question, what maternity/paternity leave is an employee entitled to? While many companies in the United States are beginning to establish paid parental leave policies, unlike many other countries, the U.S. does not require that employers provide job protected, let alone paid, leave for new parents.  ...

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August 10, 2015

There are a number of whistleblower laws that are intended to protect employees who report, object to or refuse to participate in conduct that may be either illegal, fraudulent or endangers the health and safety of individuals and the public.  Within the past month, there have been two significant legal developments that have interpreted New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Proctection Act ("CEPA") and the Dodd Frank law passed by Congress in 2010.

The first development involves the CEPA statute that protects New Jersey employees from employer retaliation against those employees who are whistleblowers.  During the past several years...

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July 13, 2015

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled late last June, 2015 State v. Saavedra that an employee who takes an employer's confidential documents may be criminally prosecuted and go to jail if found guilty. In that case, a school board employee was alleged to have taken confidential student files along with other documents that contained personal information about other individuals  Many of the documents allegedly taken were originals or the only copies contained in the school board files.  As we've indicated elsewhere in an interview with the New Jersey Law Journal, this ruling will create a chilling effect on employees who rightly believe that...

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February 23, 2015

The Los Angeles Times published an article today about women leaving the IT industry in droves. As the article points out, women are not considered able to execute fast enough or even to be entrepenuers.  Given the projected expansion of the tech industry over the next decade, the tech industry's biased view of women is tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.  In any event, this male stereotypical attitude can and will inevitably lead to violations of gender discrimination statutes. Hopefully, these companies will learn their lesson but it is not looking good.  

February 20, 2015

If you ever want to see an employer's attorney head explode, all you have to do is observe that attorney's reaction when he/she learns that an ex-employee plaintiff has taped conversations in the workplace.  This is especially true when the employer's decision-makers have testified in depositions to a completely false explanation of why the employee was fired/demoted etc. and the tape recording completely contradicts that testimony.  I have been involved in trying two cases where my fired employee client alleged an illegal discriminatory firing and tape recorded conversations in the workplace prior to the firing.  Both cases captured...

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February 19, 2015

Individuals frequently call for advice concerning the harassment and discrimination they experienced. They tell me they just couldn’t take it anymore and that going to work each day had become an anxiety-filled event, so they resigned from their employment. I assure them that they should not doubt the choice they made, because ultimately they did what they needed to stay happy and healthy. But often, under New Jersey law, that choice has limited, if not eliminated, their legal remedies.

In the employment discrimination context, "constructive discharge" is when an employer knowingly permits conditions of employment so intolerable...

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January 20, 2015

I am learning more and more that my mother was right about a lot of things but particularly about timing.  A superb golfer in her day (she was a single digit handicap at her peak) she taught me that properly timing the start of the downswing was critical to both accuracy and distance.  And in love, she always told me that timing was critical when it came to marriage, i.e, whether my future wife and I would be "ready" when we first meet. She was absolutely right!

Timing is also critical in proving an employer's illegal motive for firing, demotions, punitive transfers, etc..  For example, when an employee reports, objects to or...

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