On October 1, 2013, the “New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act” (NJ SAFE Act) becomes effective. This law provides new leave rights to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and creates additional notice obligations for New Jersey employers. A detailed summary of the law, which applies to public and private employers with 25 or more employees, is available here. One of the many requirements under the law is that employers must conspicuously display a notice of employees’ rights and obligations under the Act, in a form to be provided by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That notice is now available here, and must be posted in all covered New Jersey workplaces by October 1.
In January, OSHA released several short videos addressing respirator use. These videos cover topics such as respirator types, training, fit-testing, medical evaluations, and maintenance and care of respirators.
Massachusetts Superior Court Holds That Meal Breaks Are Compensable Unless Employees Are Relieved of All Work-Related Duties
In a decision that could spell trouble for Massachusetts employers, a judge in the Superior Court’s Business Litigation Session recently held that meal breaks count as “compensable working time,” for which employees must be paid, unless the employee is relieved of all work-related duties during the break. In reaching that decision, the court rejected the employer’s argument that the court should apply the more lenient federal standard, under which the compensability of meal breaks depends on whether the break time is spent “predominantly” for the benefit of the employer.
Failure to Provide Employee With Adequate Pumping Breaks and Accommodations Led to $1.5 Million Verdict
In March 2010, as part of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was amended to require most employers to provide nonexempt employees “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk”; and “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”