Joseph C. O'Keefe

Joseph C. O'Keefe

Proskauer Rose LLP

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N.J. High Court Rules “Watchdog” Employees Protected Under State Whistleblower Law

On July 15, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that an employee who monitors corporate compliance—a so-called “watchdog” employee—can engage in protected activity by blowing the whistle under the New Jersey...more

7/21/2015 - Adverse Employment Action CEPA Compliance Exceptions Hiring & Firing NJ Supreme Court Whistleblower Protection Policies Whistleblowers Wrongful Termination

New Montana Law Protects Employee Social Media Accounts

On April 23, 2015, Montana became the twentieth state to enact a law protecting employees from employer interference with personal social media accounts. The law, which takes effect immediately, prohibits employers from...more

4/28/2015 - Employee Privacy Rights Social Media Social Media Policy

NJ Businesses and Lawmakers Continue Debate over Municipal Sick Leave Laws

Controversy continues to stir over the growing number of municipal sick leave laws in the State of New Jersey. To date, nine such localities—Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Newark, Passaic,...more

4/24/2015 - Paid Leave Political Debates Sick Leave

Third Circuit Says Trucker Entitled to Overtime

Professional motor carriers generally are exempt from overtime payment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). ...more

3/17/2015 - FLSA Motor Carriers Over-Time Trucking Industry Wage and Hour

Sick Leave Trend Continues in New Jersey, Constitutional Challenge Begins

This week Bloomfield became the ninth locality in the State of New Jersey to require employers to provide sick leave to their employees, joining Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Irvington, Trenton, and...more

3/9/2015 - Employee Rights Local Ordinance Paid Leave Sick Leave

NJ “Ban the Box” Law Takes Effect, “Draft Rule” Proposed

New Jersey’s so-called “ban the box” law took effect on March 1, preventing most employers in the State from asking about a prospective employee’s criminal history on the initial job application and until after the first...more

3/5/2015 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Third Circuit Nixes EEOC Retaliation Suit

Last week, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2-01-cv-07402 (3d Cir. Feb. 13, 2015), the Third Circuit affirmed that the defendant did not violate federal anti-retaliation laws...more

2/27/2015

N.J. High Court Adopts Faragher-Ellerth Defense for LAD Sexual Harassment Claims

Last week, in Aguas v. New Jersey, No. A-35-13 (Feb. 11, 2015), New Jersey’s high court embraced the federal Faragher-Ellerth defense for claims alleging vicarious liability for supervisory sexual harassment under New...more

2/20/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Employment Policies Faragher/Ellerth defense NJ Supreme Court Sexual Harassment Supervisors Vicarious Liability

NJ Supreme Court Hears Argument on Whether Disgorgement of Employee’s Salary Requires Economic Damages

In Kaye v. Rosefielde, a case alleging fraud and malpractice against a former general counsel, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on whether the Appellate Division erred in affirming that economic...more

2/7/2015 - Attorney Malpractice Disgorgement Economic Damages Fraud General Counsel Hiring & Firing

NJ Supreme Court Considers Remittitur of Emotional Distress Award in Race Discrimination Case

The New Jersey Supreme Court has agreed to address whether a trial court erred in denying remittitur on a whopping $1.4 million award for emotional distress damages in a racial discrimination suit brought under the Law...more

2/4/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress NJ Supreme Court Racial Discrimination Remittitur

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Strengthening Background Checks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rule requiring member firms to strengthen their background investigation of applicants seeking registration. ...more

1/13/2015 - Background Checks Broker-Dealer FINRA Registration SEC

Trends in N.J. Whistleblowing and Retaliation Law – 2014 Roundup

2014 was another busy year for developments in whistleblowing and retaliation law in New Jersey. This blog post summarizes noteworthy state and federal cases for employers to consider in the new year....more

1/2/2015 - Adverse Employment Action Audio Recording Confidential Documents Dodd-Frank Employer Liability Issues False Claims Act Health Care Providers Healthcare Medical Devices Public Employers Quality of Care Standards Retaliation Trade Secrets Whistleblowers

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - December 2014

2014 Year in Review—the Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - 2014 was another busy year for developments in New Jersey employment law. This newsletter examines noteworthy developments in ten key...more

1/2/2015 - Arbitration Background Checks Criminal Background Checks Discrimination Ebola Employer Liability Issues FMLA Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Sick Leave State of Emergency Wage and Hour Whistleblower Protection Policies

New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Rises to $8.38 in the New Year

Due to to an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), New Jersey’s minimum wage will rise to $8.38 per hour starting January 1, 2015. This is the second consecutive year that the state’s minimum wage will increase....more

12/22/2014 - Employer Mandates Minimum Wage Wage and Hour

Lawsuits Grow Under “Old” Pennsylvania Background Check Law

A growing number of states and localities have enacted laws that restrict employers from considering certain types of criminal records in hiring and other personnel decisions. Though many of these laws are more recent,...more

12/18/2014

NJ Supreme Court to Rule on SOL Waiver

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to address whether to uphold a provision in a job application that limited the time in which an employee could sue the company to no more than 6 months after an alleged adverse...more

12/17/2014 - Adverse Employment Action Applications Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants Statute of Limitations

NJ Supreme Court to Decide Whether LAD Protects Divorcing Employee

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to address whether the protection against marital status discrimination under the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) serves to prevent an employer from discharging an...more

10/30/2014 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Discrimination Divorce

FINRA Proposes Rule Strengthening Background Checks

Last month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a proposed rule requiring member firms to strengthen their background investigations of applicants seeking registration. The proposed rule adopts,...more

10/27/2014 - Background Checks FCRA FINRA Nasdaq Proposed Regulation Registration

FCRA Preempts Tortious Interference Claim, Says NJ Court

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)—a federal law that regulates the collection and use of “consumer information”—covers employers who solicit third-party vendors known as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to run background...more

10/23/2014 - Background Checks Banking Sector Credit Reporting Agencies Defamation Employer Liability Issues FCRA Hiring & Firing Preemption Tortious Interference

Four More New Jersey Cities Enact Sick Leave Laws

Four New Jersey municipalities—Passaic, Paterson, Irvington, and East Orange—recently enacted ordinances requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees....more

10/20/2014 - Employee Rights Local Ordinance New Regulations Paid Leave Sick Leave

Revocation of Ex-Convict’s Job Offer Did Not Violate State Law, Says PA Court

Pennsylvania, like many states, has restricted employer use of criminal history in hiring and other employment decisions. Under the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA), Pennsylvania employers may “consider”...more

10/17/2014 - Criminal Records Employer Liability Issues Hiring & Firing Job Applicants

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - October 2014

Four More New Jersey Cities Enact Sick Leave Laws - Four New Jersey municipalities—Passaic, Paterson, Irvington, and East Orange—recently enacted ordinances requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their...more

10/17/2014 - Anti-Retaliation Provisions Collective Bargaining Employee Rights Employment Policies Local Ordinance Notice Requirements Paid Leave Sick Leave

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - September 2014

Third Circuit Renders Important Decisions on FMLA and FLSA - In recent weeks, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rendered a trio of significant employment law decisions....more

9/15/2014 - Appeals Colleges Employer Liability Issues Fitness for Duty Exams FLSA FMLA Hospitals Notice Requirements Universities

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - August 2014

LAD Roundup - In recent weeks, New Jersey's primary employment discrimination statute—the Law Against Discrimination (LAD)—has been the focus of judicial scrutiny....more

8/18/2014 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Discrimination Employee Rights Employer Liability Issues

New Jersey Bans the Box for Private Employers

Governor Christie has signed The Opportunity to Compete Act, which takes effect March 1, 2015 and prevents many private employers in the State of New Jersey from asking prospective employees about their criminal history on...more

8/14/2014 - Ban the Box Criminal Background Checks Employee Rights Job Applicants

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