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By Emily E. Strawbridge on March 9, 2020
Considerations for School Districts Preparing for Coronavirus

The New Jersey Department of Health issued COVID-19 guidance and education materials for child care and K-12 schools on March 04, 2020.

By Andrew W. Li, Michael W. Herbert on January 17, 2020
Will New Jersey's "CROWN Act" Prove to be a Headache for Public Employers?

With new amendments to the Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) signed into law last month, New Jersey became the third state in the country to prohibit discrimination against a person’s hair style. 

By Susan S. Hodges on October 4, 2019
Boards of Education Can No Longer Pay Teachers for Union-Only Work

Last month, the Appellate Division determined that provisions in a teachers' union contract that allowed two teachers to collect their full pay and benefits for days when they did not teach but instead performed union duties were unenforceable.

By Colleen S. Heckman on August 21, 2019
New Jersey Hitting Snooze on School Start Times

Earlier this month, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill creating a four-year pilot program to study the effects of a later start time for New Jersey high schools. This bill comes after a 2014 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics that reported sleep deprivation in adolescents with one contributing factor being early school start times.

August 6, 2019
The LIBOR Phase-Out:  Part 3

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we discussed the circumstances that led to the planned phase-out of the London Inter-bank Offered Rate, commonly referred to as “LIBOR” and the proposed replacement rate known as the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”). In this last part of the series, we will present the proposed language recommended by the Alternative Reference Rate Committee (“ARRC”) to be used in new contracts that reference LIBOR.

By Colleen S. Heckman on June 17, 2019
What's the Big Deal about Piggy-backing Paid Time Off and FMLA Leave? School Districts Edition

Many school district employees want to use their paid time off before going on unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), in order to extend their total leave time. Many school districts might allow this “piggy-backing” of leave time, but doing so may result in a violation of the FMLA and exposure to potential liability.

By Andrew W. Li on May 30, 2019
In Silent Support? The U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Overrule Third Circuit's Decision in Favor of Transgender Students' Rights

In a procedural decision which some are viewing with surprise and which others are viewing as a civil rights victory, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving transgender students using the bathrooms and locker facilities that align with their gender identities.

By Jeffrey D. Winitsky on January 24, 2019
Minimum Wage Increase Passes First Legislative Test

On January 17, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy and Legislative Leaders announced the collective decision to raise the minimum wage rate in New Jersey from $8.85 per hour to $15 per hour for most businesses over a five (5) year period. On January 24, 2019, the New Jersey Assembly's Labor Committee approved legislation (Assembly Bill A-15) that would implement the minimum wage increase. If approved by other Legislative Committees, passed by both the full Assembly and Senate, and signed into law by the Governor in its present form, key provisions of Bill A-15 include the following

January 17, 2019
"P" is for "Post Contract Salary Increases" PERC Orders Payment of Salary Increases under Expired Contracts

In two recent decisions, the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) required school boards to continue paying employees the salary increases as written in their three-year contracts, even after those contracts have expired, disrupting the longstanding practice of withholding salary increments during negotiations until a new contract is formed.

By Emily E. Strawbridge on December 14, 2018
Not Just Blowing Smoke:  The Vaping Crisis and How Schools are Dealing with It

For decades schools have battled tobacco and drug use by students, and the newest challenge facing schools is “vaping” or the use of e-cigarettes by students. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices which emit doses of vaporized nicotine or non-nicotine substances, which the user inhales.

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