New Jersey residents who work in the so-called “gig” economy can breathe a little easier today. On July 8, 2021 Governor Murphy signed new laws that will crack down on worker misclassification in New Jersey, which will provide additional benefits for workers once in effect. Misclassification is the practice of illegally and improperly classifying employees as independent contractors, when they are in fact employees. This practice deprives workers of the right to earn minimum wage and overtime, workers’ compensation, unemployment, earned sick leave, family leave, temporary disability, and other benefits.
On May 5, 2021 Peloton announced they were recalling their Tread+ and Tread Treadmill products due to the multiple injuries and even a child death that was reported. Back in April, Peloton fought the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission on the need for a recall. The Commission issued an urgent warning for the Peloton treadmill owners to stop using them immediately. The fitness company is offering a full refund for the machines. These machines cost $4,295 each and include a large touch screen allowing individuals to work out with instructors/trainers.
On Wednesday April 28, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow qualified associates/staff to obtain informed consent from patients prior to medical procedures. Traditionally, doctors were the only individuals who had the sole, non-delegable responsibility of obtaining the Consent Forms. The unanimous vote amends the state’s Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE Act) to clarify that not only a treating physician but any “qualified practitioner” would be able to obtain a patient’s informed consent.
On April 6, 2021 the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed a bill that will ultimately protect not only healthcare workers, but also various facilities and businesses. According to the article reports, by a 107-to-94 vote, this bill will specifically protect businesses, health care facilities, nursing homes, and schools from “lawsuits alleging COVID-19 exposure, absent claims of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.”
According to recent reports, the FDA is investigating cases where patients have died due to contamination issues with medical devices. Specifically, the infections are apparently stemming from “the patient-to-patient transfer of pathogens from devices used to view and access the urinary tract, bladder, and kidneys, including cystoscopes, ureteroscopes, and cystourethroscopes.”
Did you know that lung cancer killed more than 135,000 people in the United States in 2020? The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force believes that increasing the number of eligible Americans for free lung cancer screenings will save more lives, including those of women and people of color.
Snow Removal Law
Now that the temperatures outside have started to dip and the winter driving season is upon us, it is time to remind you of New Jersey’s ice and snow removal law. Remember to remove all ice and snow from your vehicle before driving, especially from the hood, windows, and roof. Motorists who fail to obey this law face fines of $25 to $75 for each offense, regardless of whether the ice and snow is dislodged from the vehicle. If flying ice or snow causes property damage or injury to others, motorists face fines of $200 to $1,000 for each offense.
Did you know that New Jersey has a law on its books requiring you to make sure that snow and ice has been removed from your entire car before you hit the road? In fact, police have issued over 3,200 tickets since the law took effect in October 2010.
Most people assume that so long as their windows are clear, they are safe. However, this is not the case. Hard snow and ice accumulations routinely fly off while driving, creating dangerous conditions for other drivers whose cars are struck by the flying object itself, or who get spooked while trying to avoid these dangers.
The Amazon plant in Robbinsville, New Jersey has closed down, and will remain closed until December 26, 2020 because several of their employees tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon spokesperson Lisa Levandowski made the following statement:
“Through our in-house COVID-19 testing program, we detected an increase in the number of asymptomatic positive cases at our PNE5 facility in New Jersey and have proactively closed the site until December 26th out of an abundance of caution.”
Governor Murphy announced a new Executive Order (EO) providing on-the-job protections for all workers in New Jersey. New Jersey joins only three other states in creating such guidelines, as OSHA and the Federal government have failed to take action in this regard. This EO is designed to ensure that consistent standards are applied by employers to protect employees.