In Barnes v. Vibra Healthcare, LLC, No. 14-CV-5678 (D.N.J. May 26, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey denied the employer’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on the threshold issue of whether the plaintiff was an “eligible employee.” The employer submitted the plaintiff’s time records in support of its argument that the plaintiff did not meet the requirement that she worked 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the medical leave. The plaintiff disputed the accuracy of the defendant’s time clock, and after the defendant conceded that the clock did not always function properly, the court refused to credit the employer’s time records and held that the plaintiff was entitled to discovery on her FMLA claim. One more reason for employers to confirm their time clocks are working accurately and their timekeeping policies are followed!
New Bill Would Suspend Interest Payments on Mortgages for Employees Aggrieved by Violations of the New Jersey WARN Act
On February 25, 2014, a bill was introduced and referred to the Senate Commerce Committee that would allow employees to suspend payment of interest on their mortgages if they were affected by a violation of the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (NJ WARN Act). The bill would apply only to individuals domiciled in New Jersey and would require them to obtain a court order finding that their employer violated the NJ WARN Act.
According to media reports, this year several high-profile companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Intel, have received or responded to proposals from investors requesting shareholder votes on the issue of whether the companies should be required to prepare reports addressing their policies and goals to reduce the gender pay gap. Although thus far such proposals seem to have been limited to companies in the tech industry, gender pay gap shareholder proposals could easily spread to other industries.
The California minimum wage is scheduled to increase on January 1, 2017 to $10.50 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees. Small employers with 25 or fewer employees will not see an increase until 2018. The increase is a result of SB-3, which was signed into law earlier this year.