New Jersey Employers Face Numerous Changes to Employment Laws in 2018 and 2019

Barnegat Lighthouse

Since 2018, under Governor Phil Murphy’s Administration, New Jersey has been actively expanding its existing employment laws and enacting new ones. The constantly evolving and changing landscape of employment laws presents potential difficulties and risks for New Jersey employers who must comply with an increasingly complex human resources compliance environment. We have written about many of these changes, which include, the following:

  1. An expansion of the rights of breastfeeding mothers under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD);

  2. The enactment of the broadest equal pay law in the nation;

  3. The enactment of a $15 per hour minimum wage, which begins to be implemented on July 1, 2019;

  4. The enactment of mandatory paid sick leave;

  5. Expansion of New Jersey’s family leave entitlements, including expanding coverage of the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) to employers with 30 or more employees, effective June 30, 2019;

  6. Implementation of an auto IRA program for employers of 25 or more employees;

  7. An amendment to NJLAD that prohibits provisions in employment agreements that limit employees’ substantive or procedural rights under NJLAD or prevent the disclosure of facts underlying claims of harassment, discrimination, or retaliation; and

  8. The enactment of the New Jersey Transit Benefits Law, which will require employers in New Jersey with 20 or more employees to offer pre-tax transportation fringe benefits to their employees.

Employers that fail to comply with the new or expanded laws are subject to significant liabilities as many of these laws provide that employees can recover double or treble damages, plus attorneys’ fees. In addition, employers that are not in compliance their employment law obligations can be subject to fines and penalties by the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL).

Businesses with employees working in New Jersey should work with knowledgeable employment law counsel to ensure compliance with New Jersey’s employment laws and ensure the implementation of appropriate policies and practices. This is true now more than ever given the evolving and expanding “regulatory” environment that New Jersey employers face.

If you have questions about your business’s human resources or employment compliance, please contact us at (201) 345-5412 or use our online scheduling page to set up a complimentary consultation.