As 2017 comes to a close, we remind New Jersey employers to take note of the state’s minimum wage increase, effective January 1, 2018, and to tend to some notice and poster housekeeping.

Increased Minimum Wage Rate

Effective January 1, 2018, New Jersey’s minimum wage rate will increase from $8.44 per hour to $8.60 per hour. Although the hourly federal minimum wage remains at $7.25, New Jersey employers must comply with the higher state mandated minimum wage.

New Wage and Hour Poster

To reflect the increased minimum wage, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) updated its New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law Abstract poster. The new poster can be found in the Employer Poster Packet on the NJDOL website. The NJDOL requires employers to post the new abstract in all New Jersey workplaces by January 1, 2018.

Annual Notice Requirements

New Jersey employers are also reminded of their annual notice requirements.

Gender Equity Notice

New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees must distribute to each employee working in New Jersey a copy of the required “Gender Equity Notice” on or before December 31 each year. In addition, New Jersey employers must obtain an acknowledgement of receipt of the notice from each employee, signed either in writing or by means of electronic verification. The required notice, which is available in both English and Spanish, and sample acknowledgements, can be found in the NJDOL’s Employer Poster Packet. Employers may distribute the notice in hard copy or electronic format.

Conscientious Employee Protection Act Notice

New Jersey employers with 10 or more employees must annually distribute to each employee working in New Jersey the required notice of rights under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The Employer Poster Packet contains English and Spanish versions of this notice as well. Employers must insert the appropriate contact information prior to distributing the notice to employees. Employers may distribute the notices in hard copy or electronic format.

Simply having a poster or a policy in a handbook does not satisfy an employer’s notice obligation under CEPA—employers must distribute the CEPA notice annually. But unlike the gender equity notice, employers are not required to obtain from employees an acknowledgement of receipt of the CEPA notice.  Employers may still wish to obtain acknowledgements for the CEPA notice too, in order to rebut any future claim that an employee did not receive the notice.

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Wage and Hour

Ogletree Deakins’ Wage and Hour Practice Group features attorneys who are experienced in advising and representing employers in a wide range of wage and hour issues, and who are located in Ogletree Deakins’ offices across the country.

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