A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Labor & Employment

NJ Supreme Court Holds That Supervisor’s Two Uses of Offensive Slurs are Sufficient Support Hostile Work Environment Claim

By on June 24, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Kristen M. Doyle, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. In a case decided on June 16, 2021, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Armando Rios Jr. v. Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. that a supervisor’s use of two offensive slurs was severe and pervasive enough to support a hostile work environment claim for a jury to decide under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”). The facts on the summary judgment record established that defendant Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. (“Meda”) hired Rios, a Hispanic male, in May 2015 as the company’s Director of Brand Marketing. Rios alleged that one month after […]

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NJ Supreme Court Holds Adverse Employment Action Not a Required Element of a Failure to Accommodate Claim

By on June 16, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

By: Gitika Kapoor, Law ClerkEditor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On June 8, 2021, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held in Richter v. Oakland Board of Education that an employee is not required to establish adverse employment action such as demotion or termination in a failure to accommodate disability claim brought against an employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”).  In addition, the Court considered whether the plaintiff’s claim was barred by the exclusive remedy provision of the Workers’ Compensation Act (“WCA”). The Court held that the NJLAD and WCA are not in tension with each other, and […]

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New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Contract Provision Providing Leave To Work Full Time On Association Business

By on February 3, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

On February 3, 2021,the New Jersey Supreme Court in Moshe Rozenblit v. Marcia V. Lyles (A-41/42-19) (083434) unanimously upheld a provision in a Jersey City School District collective negotiations agreement (“CNA”) permitting two teachers employed and compensated by the district to work full-time on business of the Jersey City Education Association (“Association”). Taxpayers sued contending that the CNA’s release time provisions violated the New Jersey Constitution’s Gift Clause.  The trial court granted summary judgment to the district based upon the district’s right under N.J.S.A. 18A:30-7 to grant “payment of salary in cases of absence not constituting sick leave.”  The Appellate […]

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Boards of Education Prohibited from Discussing Tenure Charges During Public Session

By on January 22, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

On January 21, 2021, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued a published decision in Simadiris v. Paterson Public School District in which it decided whether a board of education’s decision to certify tenure charges against an employee during private session violated that employee’s right to request such consideration in public. In short, the Appellate Division agreed with the school district and ruled that a board of education was prohibited from discussing the tenure charges during public session. Tenure charges were brought against an employee of the Paterson Board of Education (“Board”). The employee’s attorney received notice two days before a […]

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When “The Easy Way Out” Isn’t So Easy – Beware of Litigation from Non-Tenured Teachers Who Are Non-Renewed

By on January 18, 2021 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

As a practitioner who has spent most of his legal career as a school board attorney serving as general or labor counsel to boards of education, I address a trend that seems to be on the rise – litigation brought for employment discrimination in the wake of a non-tenured teacher being non-renewed at the conclusion of the teacher’s annual employment contract. In the world of school law, a “non-renewal” is distinct from a “termination,” “discharge,” or “firing” in both the legal and practical sense.  The latter tend to occur upon notice, and, in the public school context, almost always with […]

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Passage of Chapter 79 Makes Subcontracting More Cumbersome

By on October 15, 2020 in Labor & Employment with 0 Comments

Passage of Chapter 79 places new restrictions on a school district’s ability to subcontract work performed by its existing employees.  Chapter 79, which was approved on September 11, 2020 and became effective immediately, prohibits a school district from entering into a subcontracting agreement affecting the employment of any employees in a collective bargaining unit during the term of an existing collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”). A district may enter into a subcontracting agreement for a period following the term of the current CBA if the district: provides written notice to the majority representative of employees in each collective bargaining unit which […]

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EEOC Clarifies Allowable COVID 19 Testing For Employees

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. Over the last several months, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has continued to refine its past issued Guidances on what employers can do to safeguard employees from COVID-19 workplace exposure. One such measure that employers can utilize is mandating that all employees be tested for COVID-19.  But previously the EEOC never said what type of testing can be done. […]

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

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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