A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Tag: COVID-19

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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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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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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Additional Guidance on Conducting Remote Board Meetings

About two weeks ago, we addressed the issue of how boards of education could conduct their school board meetings electronically and still comply with the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) when there is a severe restriction on public gatherings due to the coronavirus health crisis. Fortunately, the Division of Local Government Services (“DLGS”) recently provided additional guidance on this issue. DLGS emphasized that telephonic or virtual public meetings without a physical meeting place should be utilized for the foreseeable future in light of the Governor’s Executive Order 107. Virtual meeting options include streaming and/or online meeting platforms, such as Google […]

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New Statute Requires Schools to Provide Meal Distribution or Meal Vouchers during COVID-19 Closures to Students Eligible for Free & Reduced Price Lunches

By on March 25, 2020 in Legislation with 1 Comment

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. On Friday, March 20, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a new bill, A-3840, to ensure the continuation of meal distribution to some of New Jersey’s most at-risk students as the State provides support to help local communities work through the COVID-19 pandemic.  The statute, now P.L. 2020, c. 6, requires local school districts to provide for meal distribution or a meal voucher program during the period of school closure due to the COVID-19 epidemic for those students who are eligible to receive free and reduced price lunches.  The act takes effect immediately. Under […]

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OPRA Deadlines Relaxed Amid Declared Emergencies

Editor: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq. As a result of the public health crisis of COVID-19, on March 20, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Assembly Bill No. 3849 into law which modifies the deadline by which public agencies are required to respond to requests for government records during the period of a declared emergency.  Normally, under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”), the custodian of records for public agencies has seven (7) business days to respond to a request made for government records by either granting access to the government record or by denying access.  Failure to respond within the seven (7) […]

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Holding Board Meetings Electronically During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By on March 17, 2020 in Open Public Meetings Act with 0 Comments

Despite severe restrictions placed on public gatherings, school boards must meet during the coronavirus pandemic to address critical business, including convening a public hearing on the budget. The solution, holding a public meeting electronically, is supported by recent guidance from the Division of Local Government Services (“DLGS”). The Open Public Meetings Act (N.J.S.A. 10:4-8(b)) permits public meetings to be held in person or by means of communication equipment.  DLGS guidance provides that communications equipment includes streaming services and other online meeting platforms. Notice of a meeting held by electronic equipment must be properly noticed.  Similarly, the board must provide a […]

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