Tag Archives: labor & employment

Puff, Puff, Passed: 2019 Marijuana Laws in Review and 2020 Projections

With 2019 nearly rolled up, it is time to exhale and recap the latest dose of marijuana laws affecting the workplace.  In the last twelve months, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana use by adult[1] and several other jurisdictions passed or modified their existing laws governing marijuana and the workplace.  Below is a summary of this year’s developments and some thoughts about what 2020 might bring.

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NJ Department of Labor Adopts Regulations on Suspension and Revocation of Employer Licenses

Continuing New Jersey’s efforts to eliminate and to hold employers accountable for employee misclassification, the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) recently adopted Regulations implementing a 2010 law (“Law”) that empowers the NJDOL Commissioner (“Commissioner”) under certain circumstances to direct the suspension or revocation of one or more licenses held by an employer who has failed to maintain and report required State wage, benefits and tax records or who has failed to pay wages, benefits, taxes or other contributions required by State law.  The Regulations specifically empower the Commissioner to direct the suspension and revocation of State-issued occupational and professional licenses, such as for physicians, dentists and other licensed healthcare professionals, where such individuals have management responsibilities sufficient to be deemed an “employer.”  Incorporating the definition of employer contained in Article 1 of New Jersey’s “Wages” law N.J.S.A. 34:11-4.1(a), the Regulation states,  “the officers of a corporation and any agents having the management of such corporation shall be deemed to be the employers of the employees of the corporation.”

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NJ Division on Civil Rights Issues Guidance on Illegal Discrimination Based on Hair

In September 2019, the New Jersey Division of Rights (“DCR”) issued enforcement guidance (“Guidance”) clarifying and explaining how the DCR applies the state’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) to discrimination based on hairstyles, particularly with respect to those “closely associated with Black people.”  The Guidance states that the LAD’s prohibition on discrimination based on race encompasses discrimination that is ostensibly based on hairstyles that are inextricably intertwined with or closely associated with race and therefore prohibits employers from refusing to hire or otherwise treating “a Black person differently because they wear their hair in a style that is closely associated with being Black.”

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State Updates Website on Employer Reporting for New Jersey Health Insurance Mandate—Again

As discussed in our March 28, 2019 blog post, New Jersey adopted its own individual health insurance mandate, the   New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (“NJHIMPA”).  The NJHIMPA requires, with certain qualifying exemptions, New Jersey residents to have minimum essential health coverage. New Jersey employers must verify health coverage information provided by individuals. To assist with employer reporting, New Jersey launched an official website with guidance on the filing requirements.

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New York State Decriminalizes Possession of Marijuana

Following an effort in the state legislature to legalize recreational marijuana, on July 29, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed S.6579A/A.8420 (the “Law”), a law decriminalizing marijuana possession in New York State. The Law will take effect on August 28, 2019. The Law expunges many past convictions for marijuana use and reduces the penalty for possession of small amounts (less than two ounces) of the drug from a misdemeanor to a violation.

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Employer Insights: Illinois’ Permanent Commitment To Medical Marijuana James Oh and Kathleen Barrett

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor Pritzker signed legislation amending the state’s current medical marijuana pilot program. The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act (the “Medical Cannabis Act”) makes the medical marijuana program, which was initially enacted as a pilot program in 2013, permanent and expands the qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card to include at least 12 new conditions, including chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, osteoarthritis, and ulcerative colitis. The Medical Cannabis Act also provides easier access to a medical marijuana card by expanding the range of medical professionals who can certify eligibility of applicants to the program. In addition to physicians, advanced practice registered nurses or licensed physician assistants can diagnose and certify an individual’s eligibility for the medical marijuana program. The amendments to the medical marijuana pilot program are effective immediately.

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HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule Compliance: Employee Benefits Crash Course Webinar Series

Our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation practice now offers on-demand “crash courses” on diverse topics. You can access these courses on your own schedule. Keep up to date with the latest trends in benefits and compensation, or obtain an overview of an important topic addressing your programs.

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Employment Law This Week®: Cannabis User Protections, WHD Opinion Letters, New Salary History Bans, NYS Anti-Harassment Training Deadline

This Employment Law This Week® Monthly Rundown discusses the most important developments for employers in July 2019.

This episode includes:

  • Increased Employee Protections for Cannabis Users
  • First Opinion Letters Released Under New Wage and Hour Leadership
  • New Jersey and Illinois Enact Salary History Inquiry Bans
  • Deadline for New York State Anti-Harassment Training Approaches
  • Tip of the Week: Disrupting bias with teams and clients

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Hawaii Decriminalizes Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana

 

 

 

 

On July 9, 2019, Hawaii became the 26th state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. HB 1383 (the “Law”), which became law when Governor David Ige allowed the veto deadline to pass without signing or striking down the bill, decriminalizes the possession of up to three grams of marijuana. It will go into effect on January 11, 2020.

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Employment Law This Week®: State Legislation Heats Up, NLRB Overturns Precedent, SCOTUS Term Ends

This Employment Law This Week® Monthly Rundown discusses the most important developments for employers in July 2019. Both the video and the extended audio podcast are now available.

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