Please note that, in light of Governor Murphy's recent "stay at home" order in New Jersey due to the COVID-19 pandemic, McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC's attorneys and staff are working remotely at this time. However, we are still ready, willing, and able to address all of your individual and business legal needs. Please contact us by phone at (973) 890-0004 or email at info@esqnj.com. We are committed to providing the same high level of legal services that our clients have come to expect over the years. Thank you.

Articles Posted in Labor and Employment

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In this time of economic uncertainty due to the coronavirus and the social distancing required to slow it, our attorneys and staff are helping New Jersey sba-disasterbusinesses seek financing under the new Federal Small Business Paycheck Protection Program.  The basic elements of the program are below.  Call us to obtain help. Applications are being accepted starting April 3rd, and funding is limited, so time is of the essence.

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

The new Paycheck Protection Program by the Federal Government will provide small businesses with funds to meet payroll and benefits costs, payroll taxes, vacation and sick leave payments, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities for up to  for up to eight weeks.  If the funds are used solely for these expenses and the number of the business’s employees stays the same, the loan can be fully forgiven (it is expected that seventy five percent of the forgiven amount will go to payroll expenses).  In other words, the loan is converted to a grant and does not need to be repaid.  The requirement can be met by retaining employees or quickly rehiring them by June 30, 2020.  If the number of full-time employees is reduced then the forgiveness will be reduced, and a pro rata portion of the loan will need to be repaid.  Only one loan may be taken.  The non-payroll costs need to have been incurred before February 15, 2020.

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Epidemic, Coronavirus, Lurking, Virus
As a result of the coronavirus (“COVID19”), the state and federal governments have been taking significant steps to enact laws to assist with relief efforts, particularly in relation to the economic strain that many individuals, families, and businesses are facing as a result of widespread closures, business limitations, and stay-at-home orders.

The federal government previously passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provides emergency relief in relation to job protection and paid leave. Now Congress is working on a new stimulus bill which would provide $2 trillion in relief aid through several different avenues.  This bill has not yet been passed and therefore is still subject to change at this point. However, it appears that several core areas are likely to remain and be ultimately signed into law.

This includes: unemployment assistance, rebates to individuals (relief checks), tax credits to businesses which were closed or significantly effected by COVID-19 and continued to pay employees, bailout loans for major companies such as airlines and hotels (this is perhaps the area most disputed in Congress and therefore most subject to change), and funding to hospitals and health care facilities.

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As a result of the coronavirus (“COVID19”), the federal government has taken significant action to provide relief to individuals and business struggling with civil-service-jobs-1-300x200economic hardships as a result of lost business during widespread closures and stay-at-home orders. The first major legislation passed by the federal government was the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provided job protection and paid leave provisions.  Now, the government has recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (also known as the “CARES Act”).

The CARES Act provides for approximately $2 trillion in relief aid through expanded unemployment assistance, individual relief checks, tax credits, loans, and grants to businesses which were closed or significantly effected by COVID-19, and funding to hospitals and health care facilities.

Small businesses in particular which are struggling with the current situation economically should look into applying for one or more of these relief options.  For example, a business may apply for a $10,000 immediate advance to cover emergency costs that they are unable to pay because of the COVID-19 situation.  Expenses covered would, of course, have to be legitimate business costs such as payroll and utilities.

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Addict, Addiction, Amsterdam, Cannabinol
New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) protects employees from adverse employment actions (being fired or demoted for instance) based on any protected characteristic such as disability, race, gender, age, etc.  For employees with disabilities, the LAD has been interpreted by the Courts  to require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities.

In July of 2019, Governor Murphy signed the Jake Honig Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, amending New Jersey’s Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”). This amendment  added several provisions, including that it is now unlawful to take adverse employment action against an employee who is registered as someone permitted to obtain and use medical marijuana. However, this does not protect an employee from being fired or otherwise subject to an adverse employment action for possession of marijuana at work or using during work hours or at the workplace location.

While this is a new law, the Courts have already been coming to much the same decisions.  Indeed, in the case of Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., the court considered a case where an employee was fired in 2016 when the employers found out that he used medical marijuana (legally) as part of his cancer treatment/pain management.  Plaintiff sued the former employer for unlawful discrimination and failure to accommodate a disability.  The trial court dismissed the action based on the law’s language (which has since been removed as part of the amendment) that nothing in the act “shall be construed to require an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace.”)

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Hello everyone, I am Pauline Young. I am one of the partners here at McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC.  First of all, I should say forgive me for my informal attire today, with the coronavirus, we are working with what we have here.

New Jersey Coronavirus Employment Issues

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In the time of the Coronavirus (COVID19), many people are concerned about the likelihood of needing to file for unemployment benefits in New Jersey in the near future.

Certainly, many people will be in need of New Jersey State assistance in 2020 and beyond as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its effects.

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The Order

On Saturday, March 21, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order Number 107, which further tightened restrictions on people and businesses in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  This Executive Order superseded all previous Executive Orders on Coronavirus responses.

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Coronavirus be damned, McLaughlin & Nardi is open to help the people and businesses we served for years get through this crisis, and we’ll work with new ones too. This too shall pass, but in the meantime we are here to help you.

Governor Murphy has indicated that he will be shutting down all nonessential businesses. We think we are essential, but if he tells us to close our doors so we will, but we will not close our firm. We are set up to operate remotely, and will be fully functional to help you during this time of need.

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A main goal of the New Jersey Civil Service Act is to ensure that employment decisions are based on merit and fitness, and therefore to prevent discrimination, political cronyism, corruption and nepotism from being a consideration.  Thus, the Legislature has given civil service office-workers-2-300x200employees the ability to appeal most employer imposed discipline to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission.

Right to Appeal Major Discipline to the New Jersey Civil Service Commission. 

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