New Jersey has long been known as one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to laws protecting against discrimination and unfair workplace practices. As the year 2022 comes to an end, let’s take a look back to see what laws were passed over the course of the year, as well as what notable court decisions have been handed down both in New Jersey and nationally. We’ll also look at what changes are on the horizon as we move forward.

  • The U.S. Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act, which eliminated the shields provided to perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment and provided employees with the choice of pursuing litigation or arbitrating based on their own preference.
  • The Superior Court of New Jersey’s Appellate Division determined that the terms of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) outweigh New Jersey’s amendment to its Law Against Discrimination. This means that even though the state’s amendment banned agreements requiring arbitration in cases of employment discrimination, if an arbitration agreement is specifically governed by the FAA then the amendment does not apply. That ruling was later called into question again by another New Jersey Superior Court judge.
  • Under State Senate Bill S2841, New Jersey legislators are considering adding height and weight to the classes protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
  • The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission issued preliminary guidance making it clear that the presence of cannabis in an employee’s system must be paired with documented evidence of workplace impairment in order for an adverse job action to be taken.
  • Looking ahead, the New Jersey legislature is taking steps to move forward with the state version of the WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) which would require state employers to provide employees with 90 days of notification and severance pay equal to one week of pay for each year of service when a significant lay off or plant closing is planned. The law was originally passed in 2020 but was put on hold due to the COVID-19 crisis. It is likely to be put into action in early 2023.

Schorr Law is committed to taking aggressive action in furtherance of fair treatment of employees in the state of New Jersey. If you believe that you have been the victim of employment discrimination, harassment, or retribution, contact us today to discuss your situation.