A Capehart Scatchard Blog

Ralph R. Smith, III, Esq.

Ralph R. Smith, III, Esq.

Mr. Smith is Co-Chair of Capehart Scatchard's Labor & Employment Group. He practices in employment litigation and preventative employment practices, including counseling employers on the creation of employment policies, non-compete and trade secret agreements, and training employers to avoid employment-related litigation. He represents both companies and individuals in related complex commercial litigation before federal states courts and administrative agencies in labor and employment cases including race, gender, age, national origin, disability and workplace harassment and discrimination matters, wage-and-hour disputes, restrictive covenants, grievances, arbitrations, drug testing, and employment related contract issues.

To Extend (or Not Extend) an ADA Leave of Absence: That is the Question

By on September 6, 2018 in ADA, Employee Rights with 0 Comments

One of the more difficult questions that perplex employers is: When can a leave of absence that has been granted as a form of disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) be ended when there are no prospects that the employee will be returning to work in the near future?  I get this […]

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Tattoos at Work: What’s an Employer to Do?

By on August 29, 2018 in Other with 0 Comments

For many rock and roll fans, the Rolling Stones are considered the greatest band in music history.  I was recently listening to the Stone’s iconic album, “Tattoo You”, and it made me think about a legal question that I often get from employers.  At this point, you might be wondering how can that be, but […]

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One Toke Over the Legal Line Can Result in Employee Firing

By on August 22, 2018 in Policy with 0 Comments

Ever since New Jersey’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was passed in 2010, one of the issues that employers have wondered about is whether an employee who used medical marijuana could be terminated for violating an employer’s drug and alcohol testing policy.  That question has been the subject of many court decisions throughout the country […]

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Silence is Golden: Someone (Maybe Even Your Own Employees) Might be Taping You

By on July 25, 2018 in Privacy with 0 Comments

As anyone who has read my blog articles know, I get a lot of questions from clients as part of the counseling work that I do, and frequently, I find that clients have the same sorts of questions on a particular topic.  One such question that I get often is whether an employee can surreptitiously […]

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Ooooh That Smell, The Smell that Surrounds (Your Employees?)

For fans of the rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, forgive my modification of the lyrics to one of the band’s most iconic songs, but it perfectly captures a moment I experienced recently fielding one of the more interesting counseling questions that I received from a client this year. The client wanted to know whether it could […]

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Love is in the Air, But Should It Be in the Workplace?

By on February 14, 2018 in Policy with 0 Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day! In the spirit of today’s holiday, a question that I frequently receive in my practice is: should a company implement any sort of dating policy for employees, or even go so far as to actually ban such relationships totally among its employees? As hard as it might be to believe, it was […]

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CEPA Found Not to Apply to Volunteer Firefighter

By on September 19, 2017 in Policy with 0 Comments

As many employers already know, New Jersey has one of the broadest whistleblower protection laws in the United States.  In the past, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”) has been expansively interpreted to provide wide ranging protections to not only employees who engage in whistleblowing activities but also independent contractors, who while technically not employees, […]

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A Lesson From France

By on July 6, 2017 in Policy with 0 Comments

You own a thriving business and supply i-Phones and other computer related technologies to keep your employees connected to your office even after normal business hours. It is Saturday night, and you need an urgent answer to a pressing question. You email one of your low level production managers.  He hears the “bing’ on his […]

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Employment and the Use of Medical Marijuana

By on April 19, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

New Jersey’s medical marijuana program went into effect in 2007.  Since that time, more than 11,000 persons have been issued ID cards under The Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (“Act’) permitting them to use medicinal marijuana and to obtain the drug at one of the state’s five (5) marijuana dispensaries. One of the issues that […]

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Third Circuit Clarifies Standard for Establishing Age Discrimination Claims

By on February 15, 2017 in Court Rulings with 0 Comments

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination against employees over the age of 40.  One of the lingering questions under the law has been what happens when an employer adopts an employment policy that, while seemingly benefiting a group of employees over 40 years old, also simultaneously […]

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