NJ Labor And Employment Law

The New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Blog is authored by Jay S. Becker and Joseph C. DeBlasio, shareholders in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, with support from the associates in the Group. It is dedicated to provide news and updates regarding all labor and employment matters throughout New Jersey.

Federal Trade Commission Attempts to Ban Non-Compete Agreements

April 24, 2024
Posted by Ari Burd

On April 23, 2024, the Federal Trade Commission issued a rule attempting to ban non-compete agreements, nationwide. The rule is set to go into effect in 120 days, however, multiple entities, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have vowed to immediately file suit to block the rule from going into effect.  Long story short, it could be years until the litigation plays out and we find out if this rule will be enforced.

In the meantime, please be aware that if this rule ever does go into effect, it provides as follows:

  • The rule bans non-compete agreements, except for those already in effect for Senior Executives.
  • Senior Executives are defined as those “earning more than $151,164 annually who are in a policy-making position.”
  • The rule will not affect existing legal actions or actions “where a cause of action related to a non-compete clause accrued prior to the effective date.”
  • The rule will not apply to a sale of a business.
  • The rule does not apply to non-solicitation provisions.

If the courts allow the rule to go into effect, we will provide a further update with a detailed analysis.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this important development, please feel free to contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams or Jay Becker from the GH&C Labor and Employment Law group.

Guidance Regarding Required Changes to Severance/Separation Agreements

April 3, 2023
Posted by Ari Burd

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently issued a decision limiting the use of confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in severance/separation agreements.  Specifically, the NLRB’s decision in the matter McLaren Macomb as well as recent guidance issued by the NLRB’s general counsel confirms that employers must be sure to limit confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions so that they clearly do not infringe on certain protected activities.  Examples of limitations demanded by the NLRB include language making clear that discussing terms and conditions of employment with former coworkers and engaging in communications related to ongoing labor disputes would not violate confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions.  However, it should be noted that the NLRB’s guidance is vague and the ultimate outcome of this decision is less than clear.

For any client who has made use of severance agreements provided by our office over the last several years, we expect that the changes required are minimal, but essential.  Please contact us and we will be happy to provide you an updated agreement.

Additionally, the NLRB’s general counsel has taken the position that any separation/severance agreement issued in the last six months that does not meet its requirements (essentially every separation/severance agreement) are in violation of its recent ruling.  That being said, any such agreement issued by our office always contains a provision noting that the terms of the agreement are severable, so that the entire agreement is not void if one provision is deemed to be unlawful.

The NLRB has also suggested that employers contact any former employees who have received a separation/severance agreement issued in the last six months and advise them that the offending provisions will not be enforced.   For those clients who have issued severance agreements in the last six months where confidentiality/non-disparagement is of particular importance, please contact Ari BurdJeri AbramsJay Becker or Alexandra Kukuyev to discuss the best course of action.

Remember to Meet Your Posting Requirements

January 30, 2023
Posted by Ari Burd

As a New Jersey business owner, you are required by law to post information regarding a variety of laws. Be advised that new and amended posters were recently issued by the NJ Division of Civil Rights for the following laws:

  • New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). All employers must post the document. A link to the poster can be found here. (Spanish version)
  • New Jersey Family Leave Act (“NJFLA”).   All employers with 30 or more employees must post this document. A link to the poster can be found here. (Spanish version)

Remember to remove all prior versions of these posters and display the new posters in “easily visible” areas. Additionally, copies of these posters should be provided to all employees annually and upon the first request of an employee. New Jersey law provides that the information can be provided via email, printed material, or posting on the internet/intranet site if the site is for the use of all employees, and can be accessed by all.

As always, the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla stands ready to assist you. Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams, Jay Becker or Alexandra Kukuyev with any questions.

Many New Jersey Employers Must Soon Offer Employee Retirement Savings Plans

March 16, 2022
Posted by Alexandra Kukuyev

Co-authored by Ari Burd

The New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Act (the “Act”) is set to take effect on March 28, 2022 and will require many employers to offer their own retirement plan or provide access to a State sponsored program.

This Act impacts all New Jersey businesses that:

  1. have employed at least 25 employees in the State during the previous calendar year;
  2. have been in business at least two years; and
  3. do not already offer a qualified retirement plan.

The Act mandates employers to offer their full and part-time employees a retirement savings option in the form of either a qualified retirement plan (e.g., a 401(k) or 403(b)) or through the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program (the “Program”). The State-sponsored Program is an individual retirement account (IRA) where employees contribute a portion of their pretax earnings via automatic payroll deductions.

Employers must first decide whether they want to sponsor a qualified retirement plan or opt for the State-sponsored Program. Those who fail to comply will be subject to penalties ranging from a written warning to a $500 fine per employee. Employers have nine months from the implementation date to comply with the Act. While the anticipated implementation date is March 28, 2022, the Treasury Department website dedicated to the program notes that implementation is not yet operational.

We suggest intermittently checking in on the website. As always, the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla stands ready to assist you. Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams, Jay Becker or Alexandra Kukuyev with any questions.

New Law Requires Notice of Employee Vehicle Tracking

January 31, 2022
Posted by Ari Burd

Be advised that effective April 18, 2022, it will become a crime for employers in New Jersey to electronically track vehicles driven by their employees unless written notice of the tracking is provided. This applies to both vehicles provided by the employer and employee-owned vehicles merely used by the employee for work purposes.  It will be up to a 4th degree crime to track employee vehicles without prior written notice and civil penalties of up to $2500 per violation can be issued.  If you track your employee vehicles, we recommend you provide written notice to your employees ASAP.  The easiest way to do this would be to amend your employee handbook and provide notice of the amendment, in writing, to all of your employees.

As always, the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla stands ready to assist you. Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams or Jay Becker with any questions.

SCOTUS Strikes Down Mandatory Vaccination/Testing Policy

January 13, 2022
Posted by Ari Burd

The U.S. Supreme Court has just thrown out the vaccination or testing mandate issued by OSHA and the Biden administration that would have applied to employers with 100 or more employees.  The Supreme Court did uphold regulations requiring vaccination for health care workers, though even that ruling was merely by a 5-4 decision.  So while the testing or vaccination mandate has been lifted for now, understand that nothing prevents employers in NY or NJ from enacting vaccine and testing mandates.  This is not the case everywhere.  A significant number of Republican led states have issued state laws barring vaccination/testing and other COVID related containment measures, so companies doing business in these states should tread carefully before creating such policies.  Further, do not be surprised if many states begin to implement vaccination/testing requirements along similar lines to what OSHA attempted, as the Supreme Court has signaled states would have the power to enact such laws.  So those employers who have already implemented vaccination/testing programs in NY and NJ should feel no pressure to end them.

Please contact the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla. Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams and Jay Becker are prepared to assist you with your questions.

OSHA Issues Emergency Temporary Standard Vaccination/Testing Rules

November 5, 2021
Posted by Ari Burd

Today the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is issuing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees).  Essentially, it requires employers with 100 or more employees to establish, implement, and enforce a written mandatory vaccination policy that requires each employee to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022 or the employer must implement a policy that allows employees to choose between being fully vaccinated or both tested and wearing a face covering.  Testing of unvaccinated employees must take place once every 7 days and testing must begin on January 4, 2022.


The ETS applies to most employers with 100 or more employees at any time (this includes part-time employees, seasonal employees and temporary workers but not independent contractors). Read more

Is It Time to Mask Up Again?

July 30, 2021
Posted by Ari Burd

COVID is surging throughout the United States thanks, in no small part, to the Delta variant, which is significantly more contagious than the form of the virus that swept through the country last year. The CDC has just revised its guidance and now suggests that even vaccinated individuals should wear masks in public, indoor settings in areas with “high” or “substantial” transmission rates. At present, Monmouth County is the only county in New Jersey with a “high” transmission rate, though several New Jersey counties have a “substantial” transmission rate (Atlantic, Bergen, Burlingon, Essex, Gloucester, Middlesex, Ocean, Somerset & Union). Governor Murphy is strongly recommending mask use indoors, but thus far, has stopped short of requiring it.

If the current COVID trend continues, businesses should expect mask requirements will go back into force. Certainly, businesses remain free to require mask wearing and social distancing. If you have questions about what your business can or should be doing during these uncertain times, please reach out to the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla. Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams or Jay Becker with any questions.

A Return to Normal in NJ – Part 2

May 27, 2021
Posted by Ari Burd

Co-Authored by Jay Becker

Only two days after announcing a limited end to mask and social distancing requirements that did not include workplaces closed to the public, Governor Murphy has clarified his prior order and indicated that vaccinated employees, at all workplaces, who provide proof of vaccination, are now exempt from mask and social distancing requirements.  As such, once vaccination records have been provided, businesses that are closed to the public can excuse vaccinated employees from mask and social distancing requirements.  Those business reviewing and filing vaccination records should take care to treat these documents as medical records.  That means filing them separately from other personnel records, typically in a locked file cabinet or password protected electronic file.  Notably, the Governor’s order further clarifies that daily health checks must continue to be conducted at the workplace.  This rule goes into effect on Friday June 4th.

Also effective June 4th, Gov. Murphy has rescinded the requirement that employers accommodate their workforce for telework.   In other words, all employers are free to require their employees return to the physical workplace (office, factory, warehouse, etc).  That said, Gov. Murphy noted during his recent press conference that  this “doesn’t mean we don’t expect you to be flexible and to work with employees — particularly those who are juggling family obligations such as child care.”

As always, the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla stands ready to assist you.  Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams or Jay Becker with any questions

A Return to Normal?

May 25, 2021
Posted by Ari Burd

On Friday, May 28th, Governor Murphy will be lifting the State of New Jersey’s mask and social distancing mandate for most businesses. That said, the most recent Executive Order makes clear that businesses can require mask use if they want and cannot stop people from wearing masks, if they so choose.

“Indoor public spaces” will no longer require masks or social distancing, HOWEVER, this does NOT include indoor worksites of employers that do not open their indoor spaces to the public for purposes of sale of goods, attendance at an event or activity, or provision of services. So in the typical closed office environment, individuals continue to be required to wear face coverings, subject only to exceptions that have previously existed, such as when employees are at distanced workstations or in their own offices, and shall continue to maintain six feet of distance from others to the maximum extent possible, except in the circumstances described therein. That said, if you have a business where customers are coming into the building to get products or services, mask use and social distancing will not be required by law. Additionally those who are not vaccinated are “strongly encouraged” to continue to wear a mask when indoors.

As always, the Labor and Employment Law Department of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla stands ready to assist you. Please contact Ari Burd, Jeri Abrams or Jay Becker with any questions.

keep looking »