Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. A really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports state unemployment taxes on behalf of customers who utilize Justworks’ PEO services, employers will need to close their New Jersey unemployment and withholding accounts prior to joining the Justworks platform. Linked here are the steps you’ll need to take: New Jersey - State Unemployment Insurance.
Recruiting & Hiring Practices
Subject to limited exceptions, New Jersey employers with 15 or more employees are prohibited from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s criminal history during the initial application process, among other prohibitions.
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD): The Opportunity to Compete Act
Employers in New Jersey are prohibited from asking candidates about prior compensation during the hiring process, including salary, wage and benefits history.
When classifying workers as employees or independent contractors, there are a few things to consider, including the different tests that apply under different federal and state employment laws, and potential penalties and other liabilities for misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Certain state laws apply tests that are more stringent than the guidance provided by federal agencies, such as the IRS and Department of Labor, to apply in conjunction with federal laws.
You can read our general Help Center article on contractors and view information on how to determine if someone is a contractor or employee in New Jersey in the relevant section at the link below.
New Jersey employers can find the most up-to-date minimum wage requirements on the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development website.
New Jersey DLWD: Employer FAQ
Meal & Rest Breaks
New Jersey law only requires breaks for minors under the age of 18, who must be given a 30-minute meal period after five (5) consecutive hours of work.
New Jersey DLWD: Employer FAQ
New Jersey requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide certain commuter benefits to employees. Justworks can help customers satisfy requirements by providing access to pre-tax deductions towards commuter costs via ConnectYourCare.
Family Leave Act
Under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJ FLA), employers with 30 or more total employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave to eligible employees in New Jersey, in a 24-month period. This leave may be taken for the purposes of bonding with a new child, to care for a family member with a serious health condition, or to care for a child whose school or placer of care is closed due to a public health emergency.
New Jersey Office of the Attorney General: New Jersey Family Leave Act: Fact Sheet
Statutory Disability & Paid Family Leave
New Jersey’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Family Leave Insurance (FLI) are partial wage-replacement programs for New Jersey workers who qualify.
Paid Sick Leave
Under New Jersey’s paid sick leave law, employers must provide sick leave for their employees, either through accrual or a grant of a number of hours, and are required to display a notice that details employee rights under the law.
Harassment & Discrimination
In addition to protections under Federal law, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination prohibits employment discrimination based on membership in any protected class.
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights: Employment Discrimination
To provide additional support in this area, Justworks has teamed up with EVERFI to offer customers free access to a suite of harassment prevention and inclusion trainings.
Posting & Notice Requirements
New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees must post and distribute the Right to be Free of Gender Inequality or Bias in Pay, Compensation, Benefits, or Other Terms and Conditions of Employment notice along with an acknowledgement form. Workers must sign the acknowledgment, in writing or electronically, and return it to the employer within 30 days of its receipt. Each worker must also be provided with a written copy of the notice upon hire, annually, and upon employee request.
Equal Pay Act
New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act is also both broader and more protective than its Federal counterpart.
New Jersey Division on Civil Rights: Equal Pay Act
New Jersey employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues and certain key documents for separating employees.
An employee’s final paycheck must be issued by the next regularly scheduled payday. This applies to both voluntary and involuntary separation, with or without notice.
New Jersey employers are not explicitly required to pay out vacation upon separation, but vacation must be paid if dictated by the employer policy. Employers must clearly set forth in writing any policy with respect to unused vacation.
Additionally, the unemployment insurance notice (Form BC-10, “Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Benefits”) must be provided to all separating employees, regardless of the reason for leaving. You can access the form here.
New Jersey DLWD: Employer Frequently Asked Questions
Business Closings and Layoffs
Federal and New Jersey law impose certain notice and other obligations on businesses before conducting large-scale business closures, layoffs, or relocations. Under forthcoming New Jersey Law, employers with 100 or more employees will have additional requirements including longer advanced notice for employees, and new severance obligations. For more information on these laws, visit the links below.
U.S. Department of Labor: Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act Advisor
New Jersey DLWD: New Jersey Business Closing/Mass Layoff Notification Law
Mineral: New Jersey Layoffs*
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.