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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NJ Workers and Drivers Using Own Tools and Trucks May Have Whistleblower Protections


NJ workers who exclusively use their own tools, be it carpentry tools or even a truck, are not necessarily independent contractors in terms of whistleblower protections. For example only, a whistleblower claim may be that a commercial driver complained about being forced to drive excess hours without sufficient break time in violation of State regulations for those holding commercial drivers licenses (CDL), and that the employer/business then retaliated against the driver for complaining. NJ workers owning their own tools of the trade, such as commercial drivers and others,  have asked me if they have a NJ Whistleblower claim under New Jersey's Conscientious Employee Protection Act, § 34:19-2 (CEPA) if their employer considers them to be an independent contractor. The employer, for numerous reasons to benefit the employer and to the detriment of the employee, sometimes purposely mis-classifies a driver or other worker to be an independent contractor rather than an employee and reports the worker’s year-end earing by way of a 1099 rather than a W-2 or pay the driver in cash. Owing your own tools of the trade, by way of example, carpentry tools if a construction worker, plumbing tools if a plumber, or even owning your own chemical transport truck that you use to transport toxic chemicals for a business, does not automatically make you an independent contractor for purposes of whistleblower protections.


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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

African Americans, New Jersey and Present-Day Race Discrimination


Discrimination against Blacks is not being eliminated as quickly or thoroughly as federal legislation of the 1960'S had envisioned. This is true in liberal and multi-cultural New Jersey, not just the traditionally more conservative states. 

According to one US government agency, shockingly, a approximately one third of all state charges filed with it in New Jersey for year 2017 were for race discrimination.

Thankfully, many protected classes are receiving the benefits of both New Jersey State anti-discrimination statutes and Federal legislation designed to eliminate the cancer of discrimination against minorities. Unfortunately, sadly and ironically, African Americans, the group which originally inspired the Civil Rights Movement and resulting legislation of the 1960's, may experience discrimination and employment disparate treatment because of the color of their skin.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

LGBT Discrimination and Unequal Pay Compensation


The evolution of discrimination law in New Jersey that protects the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender persons in their places of employment, placed employers on notice they could be held liable if they allow discrimination of LGBT persons. As a result, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender discrimination has become more subtle as laws afford protection to LGBT employees.

LGBT Employees Who Do Substantially Similar Work as Their Non-Protected Co-Workers Should Receive Comparable Compensation, Regardless of Their Job Title.

Under the new amendments to the NJLAD, effective July 1, 2018, it is illegal for an employer to pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility, regardless of their job title. Employees who are members of a protected class under the NJLAD who are paid the same hourly wage as non-protected employees for doing substantially similar work may possibly have a claim regardless of their job title, if there is a disparity of benefits based on their protected class.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

NJ Independent Contractors and Whistleblower Protection


The Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. §§ 34:19-1 et al.


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Monday, July 9, 2018

Am I Doing Substantially Similar Work under New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act?


New Jersey’s Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act takes effect on July 1, 2018. Employees who believe they are being paid less than their co-workers may wonder if they have a claim under this New Jersey law. The classes given protection under this new equal pay law are the recognized classes under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). The Diane B.


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Monday, July 2, 2018

My Boss Is Trying to Force Me Out: Experienced NJ Workers Afraid to Report Discrimination on 50th Anniversary of ADEA


This year brings the 50th Anniversary of the The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA was signed into law in December 1967 and took effect in June 1968, 50 years ago. In spite of this long history, a US governmental agency which conducted a recent study on age discrimination in employment, issued a report that in spite of federal and state laws that prohibit age discrimination, approximately 97% percent of employees who experienced age discrimination on the job never reported the discrimination to their employer nor to any government agency.

The release of this shocking statistic however does not come as shocking news to many older New Jersey employees who regularly may be held to a higher standard, assigned heavier workloads, and receive lower wages than their younger and less experienced co-workers.

The results of this study also found that older workers are still stigmatized by unfounded assumptions about age and ability in spite of the fact that statistically older workers today are healthier and working and living longer and are far more educated than older workers of past generations.


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Monday, June 25, 2018

Should NJ Employees Be Paid Equally for the Same Type Job?


Women, blacks and other minorities are sometimes paid less than other co-workers if their employment position has a different name even if they are doing substantially similar work to others who are paid at a higher rate. Starting July 1, 2018, New Jersey employers must pay women, blacks and other protected classes the same as their other employees in non-protected classes for substantially similar work when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility. The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law on April 24, 2018 by Gov. Phil Murphy, takes effect July 1, 2018.


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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My NJ Employer thinks pregnancy and breastfeeding are incompatible with work


It’s no news to working women that many NJ employers think pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood are incompatible with furthering the company’s business goals. Women have legitimate fears that once they inform their employer that they are pregnant, that their employer will discriminate against them in terms of promotions, training, and being given the tools and opportunities that are essential to excel in their field. At a time when a working women can least afford to lose her job because there will soon be another member of her family to support, it is cruel and tragic to terminate her employment or deny her the opportunities to learn, receive training and opportunities to excel that are afforded to other employees. Not only NJ Employers wrongfully perceive pregnancy, breastfeeding, and motherhood as being  incompatible with a worker’s productivity level, this despicable attitude continues to exist all over the country. By way of example, last week, a California dietary company, who was sued for allegedly firing numerous female employees because they were pregnant and/or not allowing them to return to work after the employees went out on maternity leave, settled the matter by agreeing to pay the multiple victims $50,000.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

When my NJ Employer Wants "New Blood"


Businesses understandably seek innovative and new practices to expand their profits and please shareholders. Public entity employers often want to be more effective in achieving their goals.

However, an employer seeking out "new blood" to implement their plan could be a euphemism demonstrating an intention to replace older workers with younger recruits.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

News for Employees: Senate Re-introduces New Jersey Bill to Ban All Employment Arbitration Agreements


The New Jersey Legislature re-introduced a bill which if it passes, will be the strongest pro-employee, anti-arbitration bill in the United States. While it is not yet the law, if it passes, it will tremendously help all victims of employment discrimination in New Jersey. Last year when the bill was introduced it did not pass, so it was re-introduced this year under a new number.

Currently, many employers try to coerce employees and job applicants to waive away their rights to a jury trial if they file a lawsuit alleging discrimination. Some employers will not hire any applicant who refuses to sign an arbitration-only clause which is part of the employment application.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

African Americans and Unequal Pay: NJ Governor Signs Most Aggressive Equal Pay Act in the Country


On April 24, 2018, New Jersey’s Governor, Gov. Phil Murphy, signed what is being hailed as the most aggressive equal pay act in the United States. This is great news for


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