In State v. Saavedra (A-68-13, June 23, 2015), the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld the criminal indictment of a public sector employee who stole confidential documents to support her discrimination and retaliation claims. As we discussed in our January 23, 2014 blog post and February 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, the employee was criminally charged with official misconduct and theft for taking highly confidential documents (including student records) belonging to her employer, and she countered by claiming she did so to support her employment discrimination lawsuit. She was indicted by a grand jury, and the Appellate Division upheld the indictment, holding that “an employee’s removal of documents from his or her employer for use in a suit” is not always or automatically lawful, whether in a civil or criminal case. In affirming the Appellate Division, the New Jersey Supreme Court rejected the defendant’s argument that Quinlan v. Curtiss-Wright, 204 N.J. 239 (2010) (affording New Jersey employees certain rights to take company documents to support discrimination claims) automatically immunized her from criminal prosecution; the court held, however, that she could assert a defense of “claim of right” to the documents at trial.
The Department of Labor has entered the digital age with a splash, and has announced the launch of its first application for smartphones. That app is a timesheet to help employees independently track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Individuals also can access a glossary, contact information
In a 7-2 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that submitting an “intake questionnaire” and a detailed affidavit to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is equivalent to filing a charge for purposes of the exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). According to the majority: “The agency’s determination that respondent’s December 2001 filing was a charge is a reasonable exercise of its authority to apply its own regulations and procedures in the course of the routine administration of the statute it enforces.”
On May 20, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published long-awaited information to help eligible H-4 dependent spouses apply for employment authorization documents (commonly known as “EAD cards”) under the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses final rule.