Since 1995, contingency fee enhancements have been available to successful plaintiffs in NJLAD cases pursuant to the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Rendine v. Pantzer, 141 N.J. 292, 335 (1995). However, the U.S. Supreme Court has since held that contingency fee enhancements are reserved only for “extraordinary circumstances.” Perdue v. Kenny A., 130 S.Ct. 1662 (2010). In Briel v. Brd. of Educ. of Madison, an unpublished opinion in an NJLAD case, the Appellate Division rejected the employer’s argument that Perdue’s “extraordinary circumstances” requirement applies to NJLAD cases. 2012 WL 443999 (N.J. Super. App. Div. Feb. 14, 2012). In support, the Appellate Division relied upon a recent New Jersey Supreme Court opinion, Walker v. Guiffre, ___ N.J. ___ (2012), which confirmed the continued viability of Rendine (albeit in a Consumer Fraud Act case).
Colorado Governor Expected to Sign Bill Providing New Whistleblower Protections Related to Public Health Emergencies
The Colorado General Assembly recently passed legislation intended to protect employees and certain independent contractors from discrimination and/or retaliation if they raise health and safety concerns related to a public health emergency. House Bill (HB) 20-1415, which Governor Jared Polis is expected to sign, appears to be in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it will ultimately apply to health and safety concerns unrelated to COVID-19.
On August 2, 2017, the Senate confirmed Marvin Kaplan as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
On April 26, the California Supreme Court issued a decision providing useful clarification to employers intending to revise or enforce existing mandatory arbitration agreements. In summary, the court ruled that: (1) clear error of law will serve as a basis for vacating an arbitrator’s award where the error deprives an employee of a hearing on the merits of their Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) claims or other unwaivable statutory claims;