New Jersey Enacts Anti-Retaliation Protections to Workers Impacted by COVID-19

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On March 20, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (A3848), which bars employers from taking any adverse employment actions against employees who take, or request, time off due to an infectious disease that could affect others at work based on a written recommendation of a New Jersey licensed medical professional.   It also precludes an employer from refusing to reinstate the employee to the position held when the leave commenced with no reduction in seniority, status, employment benefits, pay or other terms and conditions of employment.  Although enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, the law is not limited to the current public emergency, and does not include a “sunset” provision.

Any employee who believes he/she has been subjected to such retaliation may file a written complaint with either the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or with a court.  In addition to ordering that the employee be reinstated, the employer may be fined $2,500 for each violation of this law.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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