New Jersey News & Analysis

  • Reassigning disabled employee to another job may violate ADA

    If disabled employees can't be reasonably accommodated in their current job, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires you to consider reassigning them to a vacant position they are qualified to perform. Under the Act, however, reassignment isn't a preferred accommodation. As the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Maryland and Virginia employers) emphasized in a recent case, you should consider reassignment only when an accommodation within the individual's current position would pose an undue hardship.

  • Still not out of the pandemic 'woods' yet, but here's what employers can do

    On March 13, 2020, Delaware Governor John Carney declared a state of emergency in response to the emerging COVID-19 crisis. Some 15 months later, we're still operating under a series of Executive Orders (more than 35) that have drastically altered the way we live and work. Under the latest state guidance, teleworking employees should continue to work from home unless there's a "substantive change to business operations in Phase 2."

  • Let's make a deal: Employers offer incentives for vaccinations

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued guidance about whether employers may offer incentives to employees or their family members to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Although the guidelines are general in nature and don't provide specific answers about the amount you may offer as an incentive, they do provide some clarity on the do's and don'ts.

  • TX federal court rejects hospital employees' challenge to COVID-19 vaccine mandate

    A Texas federal district court recently ordered the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by more than 100 Houston Methodist Hospital employees who claimed they were unlawfully subjected to a COVID-19 vaccination policy as a condition of continued employment. Although their counsel has said they plan to appeal the decision, the order provides helpful precedent for other private employers that have imposed (or are considering) similar vaccination mandates, and it may discourage other employee groups from filing suit.

  • Employers beginning to navigate the age of workforce ecosystems

    It didn't take a pandemic to get workforce experts thinking about the future of work. Freelancers, gig workers, remote workers, and others who don't fit the traditional 9-to-5 mold have been playing important roles for years. The pandemic did, however, spark more thinking about the best ways to acquire, retain, and benefit from various kinds of talent.

  • Looking to hire? Luring candidates not what it used to be

    Employers have learned they must get creative when competing for top talent. No longer will the promise of a basic health plan be enough. Now, traditional enticements are just the beginning, and organizations are going to new heights to attract the best and the brightest.

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Developing women leaders called key priority. The Challenger Leadership Survey from outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., says a key priority for business and HR leaders is developing women leaders as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, released in May, found that 93% of leaders from companies across the country said "developing women leaders" is the most critical leadership issue. Another 88% said "developing leaders with both unseen and seen diversity" is most critical post-COVID. "No doubt reestablishing women talent is critical to the recovery from the pandemic-induced recession, and leaders are acutely aware . . . that they need this representation in their executive levels and are actively investing in it," Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., said.

  • Federal Watch

    States get guidance on recovery of unemployment overpayments. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an Unemployment Insurance Program Letter that provides states with guidance on addressing unemployment insurance benefit overpayments established by states for programs authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. An overpayment occurs when a state finds individuals received a payment or payments to which they are not entitled. The guidance says states may choose to waive recovery of overpayments under certain circumstances when an individual isnt at fault. Also, participating states must generally refund payments recovered before the guidances issuance if the state determines the individual meets the waiver provisions. The guidance also states that in cases in which individuals collected CARES Act benefits fraudulently, states must assess monetary penalties in addition to requiring repayments. Individuals who defrauded the program may also face criminal prosecution.

  • HR Technology

    HR technology called key to return-to-office challenge. With more employers bringing employees back to work as the pandemic seems to be easing, consultants at Deloitte say technology is key to managing a return to the office. In a May 25 blog post, Deloitte points to HR technology that can issue alerts and survey employees to help employers gauge the workforces readiness to return and provide insights into employee expectations. Technology also can provide the data, metrics, and tracking tools needed as employers decide which employees to call back and when. Technology also is helpful in assisting leaders make contingency plans and conduct effective communications. In addition, human capital management platforms can help employers spot potential safety risks and respond. Also, vaccine management dashboards can enable employers to track the immunization status of the workforce.

  • Employee, spouse blame employer for COVID-19 infection, but lawsuit fails

    A federal court recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by an employee and his spouse attempting to hold his employer liable for both of them contracting COVID-19. The dismissal should bring comfort to employer anxiety over negligence lawsuits by employees and their family members seeking damages for possibly bringing a coronavirus infection home from the workplace.