Archive for Richardson Employment & Civil Rights Law, LLC Blog – Page 2

Collect Unemployment after Being Terminated?

shutterstock_214333192 We get questions from New Jersey employees who have been terminated as to whether they can collect unemployment. The fact of the matter is there really is no one answer to that. It depends a lot on how you were terminated and why. If you were terminated with cause for misconduct at work, you will be disqualified from unemployment for a period of time. If, however, you were let go for other reasons such as lack of work or some question as to whether you were capable of doing a job but not by intentional misconduct, you will probably qualify. This is, again, a fact based analysis and can’t be answered just by opening a book and saying, “yes this is what’s going to happen.”

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employees. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Can Someone Collect Unemployment after Getting Severance Package?

shutterstock_218117338We’re frequently asked whether someone who’s receiving a severance package can still claim unemployment, and that really depends on how the severance package is structured. Let me give you an example. If you have a severance package where you are entitled to a lump sum payment, then as soon as you receive that payment you can apply for unemployment and collect. On the other hand, if you have a severance package which is essentially keeping you on the payroll for say 10 or 12 weeks, then you’re considered employed for the duration of that severance package and cannot collect unemployment on top of your severance.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Severance Package Lawyer. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Can One Party Record the Conversation without Notifying the Other?

shutterstock_214380451 A question that comes up repeatedly is whether in New Jersey you can record conversations whether by phone or in person without letting the other person know, and the answer to that is yes. New Jersey is a one party notice state. What that means is as long as one party involved in the conversation knows about it and consents to it, the recording is legitimate. That one person can be the person doing the recording. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to get away scott-free. It may not be a violation of the law, but if you’re recording people in the workplace and the employer finds out that employer may very well terminate you for conduct detrimental to the workplace.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Privacy Attorney. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Can Employers Ask New Employees to Gain Access to their Social Media?

shutterstock_187286180A big concern among employers in New Jersey and nationwide for that matter is whether they’re hiring somebody who has had some really outrageous comments in social medial that would come back and reflect badly on the company. Some employers want to have access to those social media pages and ask for their passwords and user names so they can get on and see what people have done. That’s not a good idea and in fact is now unlawful in New Jersey. You can’t get access to them. However, there’s nothing to stop you from going on line and seeing what they have posted publicly because that’s fair game. One of the caveats is that you must have a policy about this. In other words, you can’t single out one employee and look at their Facebook page and not do it to other employees. Make it a uniform policy and, even better, hire an outside agency to do that work for you so you’re getting an independent view of it.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Privacy Lawyer. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Can Employees Take Time Off Due to Their Illness?

oxygen hospital injury pregnantA lot of New Jersey employees are confused about whether they can get any time off from work as a result of their own illness or injury. The truth is, some can and some can’t. At the federal level there’s a law called the Family Medical Leave Act which provides for unpaid time off if you or a loved one or a family member is having a serious medical condition that requires you to be off. It doesn’t apply to everyone though. It only applies to employers that have 50 or more employees within a given radius and if you have worked a minimum of 1250 hours during the last 12-month work period. If neither of those conditions apply, you don’t get family medical leave. If only one applies, you don’t get family medical leave. Even if you do qualify, bear in mind that’s unpaid leave, and it only lasts for 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, your employer can replace you if the circumstances are right and if it does not appear that he’s discriminating against you on the basis of your disability. Your employer also can force you to use accrued vacation and sick time and any other time available to you during your FMLA. In other words, it doesn’t extend the amount of time you have off, so yes you can get time off but it may not be as attractive as you think.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Civil Rights Attorney. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Bad Reviews after Diagnosed with Illness

neurologistWe got a call recently that similar to others we’ve had in the past where somebody’s just had a diagnosis of a pretty serious disease. They’ve told their employer, and all of a sudden they’re getting negative performance reviews and verbal counseling and write ups. The timing is very suspicious and in circumstances such as that an employee really needs to start documenting everything that is happening, who is talking to them, what they’re saying, when it’s happening and essentially build a case because if they’ve started treating you differently after you’ve told them you have a serious health issue, that could lead to a cause of action for discrimination. It’s important that you keep note of everything going on around you so that when you need the information you have it handy.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Discrimination Lawyer. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Americans with Disabilities Act

shutterstock_11176225A number of years ago, Congress decided to protect workers around the country and not just workers but individuals who suffer from a disability. The goal is to try and bring them into the mainstream of society and let them participate to the fullest extent that their disabilities will permit. The outcome of that at the federal level is the Americans with Disabilities Act. In the work place, this prohibits an employer from discriminating against a disabled or handicapped employee in the terms of conditions and employment and further requires an employer to make a reasonable accommodation to an individual’s disabilities. The law goes farther than just workplace though, it also requires public accommodations such as restaurants, hotels, bars to make themselves accessible in a reasonable manner to individuals with disabilities so that they can enjoy the social life that other people have within the limits of their own disabilities. New Jersey’s law against discrimination essentially does the same thing on a state level and is equally as powerful. Anyone with any kind of restriction on their abilities should understand that these acts are there to protect you.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employees. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Age Discrimination on the Job in New Jersey

ageism discriminationWith the aging of the Boomer generation, we’re getting more calls from New Jersey employees who feel that they’re being let go because of their age. For example, we got a call recently from an individual who had been working for a company for 25 years. He was let go. His boss told him that he was let go because there just wasn’t enough work. He found out about a month later that the company had just hired someone who was fresh out of college. He wanted to know if he had an age discrimination claim. We told him that based strictly on what he told us there might be on there, but we have to look and see what kind of job he was doing before he was let go. That is what type of job or role he played and what part in the organization he was and determine whether this younger person really was hired to fill his slot or to fill the slot of the person who took his job over. The mere fact that a younger person was hired, maybe for an entirely different job, doesn’t tell us that there was age discrimination. It requires more of an investigation, but the smell certainly is there.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Discrimination Lawyer. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

Do Employers Have to Provide Evaluation?

business meeting (2)One of the issues that employers raise with me is whether they have to provide evaluations for employees on any kind of routine or regular basis. The short answer is no. However, it’s a very good tool that you can use to make sure that an employee is doing what you want them to do,and if somebody is not coming up to snuff, to give them guidance on how to rectify the situation. Again, this is more of a management practice than a legal question. For most of us, it’s a lot easier to correct bad behavior and cheaper than it is to go out and hire a new employee to replace somebody who is not doing the job.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Attorney for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

How Long Do I Have to Keep an Employee who is on Workers’ Comp?

pain managementOne of the real vexing issues for a New Jersey employer is how long he has to keep an employee, or at least keep a job open for an employee, who’s out on workers’ comp. There’s no hard and fast answer to that question. Legitimately, if somebody is out beyond the amount of time that would be available to him under either the Family Medical Leave Act or the New Jersey Leave Act, you may be able to terminate him.

If there’s no prospect of him coming back in any kind of timely fashion, you can replace him. These are always fact-sensitive issues and you really need some sort of legal advice before you terminate somebody under these circumstances. Otherwise you could open the door for a claim either under retaliation provision of the Workers’ Comp Act or under the New Jersey law against discrimination.

This short informational blog was provided by Allan Richardson, a New Jersey Employment Lawyer for Employers. Please contact the law firm with any questions you may have and set up your initial consultation.

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