Green Savits Employment Law Blog

Employment Attorneys Serving Northern and Central New Jersey

March 03, 2017

Employees often call us about whether their employer is required to give them time off to care for a sick family member or newborn baby. Unfortunately, only certain employers are required to provide such time off.

If your employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles of your worksite and if you have worked for that employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1250 hours in the past 12 months, you are entitled to up to 12 weeks per year of unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for yourself, your spouse, your child, or your parent with a serious health condition. You can also use FMLA leave for...

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February 15, 2017

In the first of Green Savits' answers to Frequently Asked Questions, we address whether employers can force employees to work overtime.

Employees who contact us often complain that their employer is forcing them to work long hours and ask whether mandatory overtime is legal. The answer is, generally, yes. In New Jersey, employees are considered “at-will,” which means that your employer can require you to work more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day and terminate you if you refuse to do so unless:

You have an employment contract specifying otherwise (such as a collective bargaining agreement); or Your disability prevents... Read More
December 19, 2016

An interesting NY Times article in the Business Section on December 18, 2016 reported that a study of Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and Dodd Frank whistle-blowers found that exposing coporate wrong-doing actually changed corporate conduct for the better.

In fact, the burden of proof for whistle-blowers who claim retaliation under SOX are very pro-whistleblower. All a whistle-blower has to prove under SOX is that he/she is an employee who reasaonbly believed that the employer was violating federal securities laws and that the employer retaliated against the whistleblower for either objecting to or reporting the wrongdoing to a supervisor,...

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June 03, 2016

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA” or the “Act”) governs the minimum wage and overtime compensation requirements for employees in almost all workplaces across the country. However, unsurprisingly, employers’ obligations under the FLSA are more complicated than simply paying their employees the set minimum wage (currently, $7.25/hour) and 1.5 times their regularly hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 hours per week. The many exemptions contained within the Act limit the number of employees who are entitled to these minimum wage and overtime guarantees.

For example, under the FLSA, employees “employed in a bona fide executive,...

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February 12, 2016

Both the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ have actually made it easier for employees of publicly traded companies listed on their exchanges to successfully bring whistleblower retaliation claims. The exchanges did so by passing rules requiring listed companies to develop procedures for whistle-blowing employees to report illegal corporate wrongdoing. Of course, both the NYSE and NASDAQ did not do this out of the goodness of their hearts but were directed to take action by the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Section 406 of the 2002 Sarbanes Oxley Act. See 17 CFR 228.406(b)(3) and 229.406 (b)(3). That provision...

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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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