A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Governor Signs Law Establishing New Health Care Plans and Contribution Levels

By on July 2, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

On July 1, 2020, Governor Philip Murphy signed Senate Bill 2273 which requires alterations in health insurance plans and changes to school employee contributions toward the cost of health coverage.  The law takes effect immediately and in some respects overrides collective negotiations agreement provisions.  The new law will impact negotiations, budgeting and insurance benefit planning.  Key components include: Establishment of New Jersey Educators Health Plan (“NJEHP”) by the School Employees’ Health Benefit Program (“SEHBP”) for the 2021 plan year and creation of an equivalent plan by non-SEHBP school districts; Establishment of a less costly Garden State Health Plan (“GSHP”) by the […]

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NJDOE Issues Guidance on ESY 2020 During COVID-19 Pandemic

On June 12, 2020, the New Jersey Department of Education (“NJDOE”) provided guidance to school districts on the delivery of extended school year (“ESY”) services to eligible students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NJDOE’s guidance was in response to the Governor’s recent Executive Order 149 allowing for in-person ESY programming beginning on or after July 6, 2020. Pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and corresponding New Jersey regulations, once a school district determines that a student with disability requires additional educational services during the summer, the school district is required to include an ESY program […]

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COVID-19 and The High Risk Employee

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Below is an article written by my colleague, Ralph R. Smith, Esq., Co-Chair of our firm’s Labor & Employment Group. If you wish to view additional articles and/or be kept up-to-date with labor & employment issues, visit our HR Resource blog by clicking here. With businesses reopening thanks to modifications of state stay at home orders, employers are beginning to contemplate what their new work environments will look like when employees return. Over the past several months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (‘EEOC”) has provided guidance to employers regarding the ways that a company can safeguard its […]

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CDC Issues Interim Guidance for Opening of Schools Following COVID-19 Closures

By on May 21, 2020 in Other with 0 Comments

Earlier this week the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) released guidance for K-12 school administrators on the reopening of schools.  The guidance is titled “Interim Guidance for Resuming Schools and Day Camps.” The largest section of the guidance is the Social Distancing section which encouraging schools to promote social distancing to the fullest extent possible.  Steps 1 and 2 of the promotion of social distancing include suggestions, such as student and staff groupings remaining static (same students with same staff members), cancelling of field trips, inter-group events and extracurricular activities, limitations on gatherings, and restrictions on non-essential visitors […]

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N.J. Supreme Court Decides Issue on Compensation for Unused Sick Time

On April 20, 2020, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued an important decision regarding a teacher’s right to compensation for unused sick leave at the time of retirement or separation from a board of education. In Barila v. Board of Education of Cliffside Park, the State’s Supreme Court held that the unambiguous terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the teachers’ union and the board of education dictated the right to sick leave compensation upon retirement and such agreement did not violate a vested right. The Cliffside Park Education Association (“Association”) is the exclusive collective bargaining representative for all teachers […]

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New Law Permitting Remote Instruction Also Requires Payment of Compensation and Benefits to School Employees and Other Entities

By on April 15, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq.  On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed A3904/S2337 into law which permits use of virtual and remote instruction to meet the minimum 180 day school year requirement. The new law does not stop there.  The law requires payment of benefits, compensation and emoluments to school employees as if school remained open during the school closure (irrespective of whether employees are covered by a collective negotiations agreement) and to a contract service provider pursuant to the terms of the contract in effect prior to the school closure as if the services had been provided.  Additionally, A3904 […]

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Interactive Process Breakdown: Employee’s Refusal to Participate Bars Discrimination Claims

By on April 14, 2020 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On March 31, 2020, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decided the matter of Petti v. Ocean County Board of Health, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 10082 (3d Cir. 2020). Plaintiff B. Janet Petti was an accountant for the Ocean County Board of Health (“OCHD”) and worked in one of the two buildings at OCHD’s office campus. Construction began at the building next to where Petti worked. Petti reached out to OCHD’s Director of Administration and Program Development regarding construction debris and asbestos out of concern it could aggravate her unspecified medical condition. OCHD responded that […]

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GRC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Impacts on OPRA

As previously addressed on this blog, on March 20, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 3849 into law which relaxes the deadline by which public agencies are required to respond to requests for government records under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) during a period of a declared emergency, such as the current COVID-19 health crisis. On March 26, 2020 the Government Records Council (“GRC”) issued a special statement regarding the modification. Under normal circumstances, the custodian of records of a public agency must respond to an OPRA request within seven (7) business days by either granting access to […]

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Are You Ready: Summary of Federal COVID-19 Leave Laws

By on April 7, 2020 in Legislation with 0 Comments

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. Below is an article written by my colleagues, Ralph R. Smith, Esq., Co-Chair of our firm’s Labor & Employment Group, and Lara M. Ruggerio, Esq., a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. The article summarizes two new federal leave laws dealing with employee work absences resulting from the COVID 19 crisis. If you wish to view additional articles and/or be kept up-to-date with labor & employment issues, visit our HR Resource blog by clicking here. As of April 1, 2020, employers must now comply with the two new federal leave laws recently passed […]

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NJDOE Finally Releases Notice Stating Permissibility of Delivering Related Services to Special Education Students through Remote Technology

By on April 2, 2020 in Special Education/504 with 0 Comments

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. With most schools in New Jersey closed for nearly two weeks, and all closed since Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107 on March 21, 2020, school districts across the State have been awaiting further guidance from the New Jersey Department of Education (“NJDOE”) on the important issue of whether NJDOE would permit the provision of related services to special education students through remote technology and distance learning during this period of school closure due to the COVID-19 virus.  That much-awaited guidance came yesterday, as Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont Repollet issued a letter titled “Notice […]

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