Governor Phil Murphy campaigned on a promise to sign sick leave legislation. He mentioned the issue again in his budget address, urging the legislature to get a bill to his desk. And an Assembly version sponsored by Assemblywoman Lampitt was heard and voted out of the Assembly Labor Committee this week and is moving through the legislative process.
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute strongly opposes the so-called “wage theft” bill the Assembly Labor Committee is holding a hearing on Monday. A862 does much more than protect employees against wage theft, which is, of course, already illegal. As amended, this bill would impose massive penalties on businesses who make well-intentioned errors on contentious questions, like the independent contractor/employee distinction, and would provide a backdoor for getting all the worst aspects of the pending “paid sick leave” legislation enacted.
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute strongly opposes the so-called [...]
The New Jersey Senate has scheduled a vote on S799, which would require all businesses in the state to offer their employees paid sick leave, for this coming Monday, May 9. Under this bill, employers will have to prove in a court of law that they had a legitimate business need to change the schedule of an employee who calls in “sick” every Monday after the Giants have a home football game. Even if a jury agrees that such a schedule change is warranted, the employer will have spent thousands of dollars proving its innocence, costs that will undoubtedly be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.
One of the core tenets of the U.S. legal system is that criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Defendants are not required to lift a finger or open their mouths in their own defense. On the civil side of things, both the plaintiff and the defendant have the responsibility to show up in court and present evidence, but typically the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the wrongs they allege are more likely to have occurred than not.
The New Jersey Senate once again delayed a vote on the merits of S799, which would require all businesses in the state to offer their employees paid sick leave, choosing instead to amend the bill and hold it for further consideration.
On Monday, two important bills working their way through the legislature, the paid sick leave bill and the equal pay bill, will be voted on. If enacted, these bills would presume employers are guilty when a lawsuit is brought against them unless they can prove their innocence. This is an unprecedented change to our legal system.
The New Jersey Civil Justice Institute will be testifying against three bills on Monday.
On Thursday, the full Senate is taking a vote on two bills the NJCJI is opposing because they open New Jersey businesses up to excessive liability.
A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of December 12-18.