In Van Dunk v. Reckson Assoc. Realty Corp., 2012 N.J. LEXIS 678 (N.J. June 26, 2012), the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether an employee’s personal injury suit against his employer following a trench collapse, for which the employer was fined by OSHA for a willful violation, could be maintained despite the exclusivity provisions of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. An OSHA investigation revealed that the employer violated safety requirements, and the project superintendent acknowledged that he was aware of the trench requirements and failed to follow them. While the New Jersey Supreme Court acknowledged that the employer’s conduct could be considered gross negligence by a reasonable fact finder, absent further proof, that was not enough to demonstrate that an “intentional wrong” was committed. Accordingly, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that the plaintiff’s claims against his employer were barred by the exclusivity provision of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Beltway Buzz is a weekly update summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C. could impact your business.
On October 21, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a number of bills, which cumulatively expand protections against gender discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and human trafficking. This comprehensive legislation, which grew out of the governor’s call for a 10-point “Women’s Equality Agenda” in his 2013 State of the State Address, consists of eight discrete bills. Five of the newly signed bills are of particular importance to employers in that they seek to achieve greater pay equity for women; expand coverage of sexual harassment protections to the smallest employers and significantly increase remedies available under state sex discrimination law; prohibit discrimination based on family status; and mandate employers of pregnant employees to provide certain reasonable accommodations.
A Bird’s Eye View of the DFEH (Part 3): An Interview with Patti Perez on Reasonable Accommodations, the Interactive Process, and Companion Animals
In part one of our interview with Patti Perez, Esq., SPHR, president and CEO of Puente Consulting, and member of the DFEH’s Fair Employment and Housing Council, Perez shared insights on her role as a DFEH councilmember and discussed proposed changes to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). In part two of our interview, she talked about other California regulations that are undergoing changes. In this third and final part of our interview, Perez talks about the reasonable accommodation provisions involving assistive animals in the workplace.