John Sarno, president of the Employers Association of New Jersey (EANJ), announced Friday he will be leaving his position at the end of the month to pursue other professional and academic opportunities.
Hired in 1995, Sarno is only the third chief executive in the organization’s 107-year history. EANJ’s board announced a search for a new chief executive in November.
Known for his energy and creativity in supporting employers and developing multistakeholder initiatives, Sarno leaves a legacy of innovative leadership in both the private and public sectors, and an extensive body of work in employment law, labor standards, management training and public policy.
Sarno has litigated cases in state and federal courts, including wrongful termination and retaliatory discharge. He has regularly counseled management on proactive policies and practices to maintain positive employee relations and advised member companies in many areas of employment law, including ADA, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, drug and alcohol testing and employment discrimination. He has published extensively on labor and employment law and teaches HR law.
Much of Sarno’s work at EANJ has centered on law and the workplace, advising employers on best management practices and training good employers to be better. He has trained thousands of managers and supervisors from the executive suite to the shop floor for manufacturers, nonprofit agencies, universities, municipalities, financial and healthcare institutions and more.
During much of that time, he also taught management, law, ethics and public policy at several universities. During the COVID pandemic, he served on the Governor’s Task Force on Small Business and as a member of HealthyNJ, helping to develop the state population health strategic plan.
NJBIA recently honored Sarno at its Public Policy Forum with a Leonard C. Johnson Award, which recognizes business community leaders who have distinguished themselves in their efforts to improve the state’s business climate and encourage job growth.
“I have had the honor to work more closely with John over the past some years and again, his spirit of collaboration with NJBIA and our greater business community is why he honor him today,” NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka said at the Nov. 28 event attended by over 240 businesspeople.
During the pandemic, EANJ partnered with NJBIA during the COVID-19 health emergency to bring expanded resources to New Jersey businesses. Sarno delivered bimonthly webinars attended by over 1,000 employers, and EANJ published a comprehensive report on employer policies and procedures.
Sarno was also recently honored by the Community Health Law Project for his lifelong commitment to advancing equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities.
Although he is retiring from EANJ, Sarno will continue to serve as a board member of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey and on the State Commission of Employment and Training, where he is forming a Committee on Mental Health at Work helping to incorporate mental health awareness and solutions as part of the state’s workforce readiness strategy.
He has also been appointed as Distinguished Executive-in-Residence at Rutgers Business School in Newark, where he will be teaching and mentoring students and business leaders on achieving both corporate and societal goals.
At the same time, Sarno has also joined his longtime colleague Keith Miller at his Newark law firm, Robinson Miller LLC, where Sarno will provide advice and council on employment and labor relations cases and be available for workplace consultations.
“I am overjoyed as I begin the next chapter,” Sarno said. “I live to work with both sides of the brain.”
Photo Caption: NJBIA honored John Sarno, president of the Employers Association of New Jersey, with a Leonard C. Johnson Award, which recognizes business community leaders who have distinguished themselves in their efforts to improve the state’s business climate and encourage job growth. Presenting the award on Nov. 28 were NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Christiopher Emigholz (center) and NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka.