Legislature Contemplates Bill Protecting Jobs During States of Emergency

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The New Jersey Legislature is considering a Bill that would prohibit certain employment actions against employees who are affected by a state of emergency.  The Bill defines “state of emergency” as a disaster or emergency, whether natural or man-made, for which either the Governor or a municipal emergency management coordinator declares a state of emergency.

The legislation would prevent employers from discharging or taking any adverse employment action against an employee who is not working due to a state of emergency.  Employers also would be prohibited from requiring the employee to use any sick, vacation, personal, or other leave for the time he or she is not working.  The employer, however, would not be required to pay the employee if he or she is not actively working at the place of business, unless he or she is working remotely.

If an employer were to violate the legislation’s provisions, the Bill would impose a monetary penalty of up to $5000 for the first violation and up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.  Connell Foley’s labor and employment law attorneys will continue to track this pending legislation.