New Jersey Business Law eNewsletters

What Is a Hostile Work Environment?

A hostile work environment exists when an employee or employees cannot reasonably perform their work duties due to the hostile actions of their co-workers and/or supervisors. Such actions might include: Sexual harassment Physical harassment Verbal harassment Threats or intimidation Discrimination based on an employee’s race, national origin, sex, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other legally protected characteristic Retaliation for reporting safety violations, notifying upper management about an issue at work, filing a workers’ compensation claim, joining a union or acting as a whistleblower Retaliatory actions might include writing up employees for rules they didn’t break, changing employees’ schedules to include hours they can’t work, and reducing employees’ hours or cutting their pay. If you are being harassed, threatened, intimidated or discriminated against because of a legally protected characteristic, or if you are the victim of retaliation, you may have cause for an employment lawsuit. What Employees Should Do…
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The Problem With Chinese Drywall

Defective Chinese drywall has become a hot topic in construction litigation during the past several years. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has received around 4,000 reports of toxic Chinese drywall from residents in 43 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. Removing and replacing the defective drywall can be very costly and has prompted lawsuits against manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, builders, contractors and installers. If you are involved in a dispute over Chinese drywall or any other defective construction material, an experienced Monmouth County business attorney can help, no matter which side of the dispute you are on. What Makes the Drywall Defective? The defective drywall imported from China contains excessive sulfur, which causes it to give off a noxious, egg-like odor. The drywall has been known to cause corrosion damage to electrical wiring, pipes, AC units, household appliances, electronics, silverware and jewelry. Homeowners have also reported adverse…
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Avoiding Construction Disputes

Although construction disputes can arise from a number of factors, some of the more common reasons for disagreement are: Conflicting expectations Poor risk allocation Lack of communication Unclear contracts Failing to deal with problems as they come up Business owners and contractors can avoid most of the above issues with proper planning and communication. Understand the Contract One of the best ways to avoid construction disputes is to understand the contract. You should review the contract terms and conditions with a construction litigation attorney before signing. Of particular importance are the payment terms, adjudication clause, variations and extension of time clauses, and time limits for issuing dispute notices. A clear contract is important in resolving disputes. Allocate Risks Before starting a construction project, potential risks should be identified up front. After risks have been identified, the parties should agree who will be responsible for obtaining insurance for those risks. For…
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The Right Way to do Employee Background Checks

CheckPoint HR has released a list of why a company would want and find it more efficient to use a background check in the hiring process. These reasons include: Background checks and verification increase the quality of a potential hire. This includes such details as education and specific skills. Decreasing workplace violence and theft can be extremely beneficial to a company and its coworkers. This could mean that potential legal issues and losses could be avoided in the future. Avoid negligent hiring charges due to identity theft or misrepresentation. Someone can claim to be someone who he is not in order to get hired by a perspective company. Reduce disciplinary issues and save the company money by reducing turnover. A background check will ensure that the candidate is right for the specific job. Corporate responsibility is maintained when doing background checks, as candidates are discouraged from lying. If you are…
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