It was a busy January 2020 in Trenton, with the state enacting several new employment laws, with more apparently on the way. This is in addition to the slew of new laws adopted in 2019 impacting New Jersey employers. Here’s a summary of recent employment law developments in New Jersey just one month into 2020, a look at what may be on the way, and a recap of 2019’s changes.
On January 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 3170, which expands New Jersey’s Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (New Jersey WARN Act) well beyond the requirements of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988. The law is scheduled to go into effect on July 19, 2020, and will make New Jersey the first state to guarantee payment of severance to employees affected by mass layoffs.
The New Jersey legislature closed out 2019 by trying to push through a bill that would have substantially amended the state’s “ABC test” for determining independent contractor status, and effectively prohibited New Jersey companies from utilizing independent contractor workforces. On January 14, 2020, the state senate introduced S863, which presents many of the same problems for New Jersey businesses that its predecessors did.
In 2020, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase. The following chart lists the states’ (and certain major localities’) minimum wage increases for 2020—and future years if available—along with the related changes in the maximum tip credit and minimum cash wage for tipped employees. The federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per
On December 6, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in Yu v. Hasaki Restaurant, Inc., No. 17-3388, that judicial approval is not required to settle Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims via a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68(a) offer of judgment.
On August 6, 2019, Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed the New Jersey Wage Theft Act (WTA) into law. The law has been touted by proponents as the toughest wage theft statute in the country. Notwithstanding its name, the WTA goes far beyond attempting to prevent and punish intentional “wage theft” by significantly expanding the liability even the best-intentioned employers will face for state wage law violations.
On March 1, 2019, New Jersey governor Phil Murphy signed Senate Bill No. 1567 (S1567) into law, making New Jersey the first state to require certain employers to provide pretax transportation fringe benefits to employees.
On March 18, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 121 (S121), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) in two important respects, effective immediately.
On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that amends and significantly expands New Jersey’s existing Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and Family Leave Insurance law (NJFLI).
On January 29, 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not preempt New Jersey’s ABC test for determining whether a worker is an independent contractor or employee.
New Jersey has joined the ranks of California, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia in requiring a phased increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour as a result of a bill (A-15/S-15) signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Monday, February 4, 2019.
In 2019, a number of states’ minimum wage rates will increase.
In response to many questions about the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law, which will go into effect on Monday, October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) issued a detailed list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) on October 24, 2018.
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018. We have received hundreds of questions in the last few weeks from employers seeking guidance on what they must do to comply with the law in advance of its looming effective date. This is part three in a three-part series answering some of these frequently asked questions.
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018. We have received hundreds of questions in the last few weeks from employers seeking guidance on what they must do to comply with the law in advance of its looming effective date. This is part two in a three-part series answering some of these frequently asked questions.
The New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Law (PSLL) goes into effect on October 29, 2018. We have received hundreds of questions in the last few weeks from employers seeking guidance on what they must do to comply with the law in advance of its looming effective date. This is part one in a three-part series answering some of these frequently asked questions.
On October 3, 2018, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) released on its website the required notice that must be posted and distributed to all New Jersey employees under the New Jersey paid sick leave law.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) recently issued proposed regulations to implement the New Jersey paid sick leave law (PSLL), which goes into effect on October 29, 2018. The proposed regulations address many questions New Jersey employers have about the new law, but other areas of uncertainty remain.
On August 10, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation allowing striking workers to collect unemployment benefits under several new and potentially expansive circumstances.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, No. 17-2646 (July 3, 2018). The decision, which vacated the entry of summary judgment in favor of an employer that had asserted the Faragher-Ellerth defense to a sexual harassment claim based upon a hostile work environment, provides some important lessons for employers.
On January 16, 2018, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy was sworn in as the 56th governor of the State of New Jersey, replacing Republican former governor Chris Christie. As reflected in the Report of the Labor and Workforce Development Transition Advisory Committee, Governor Murphy’s administration is poised to advance legislation that will have a significant impact on employers doing business in New Jersey.
On May 2, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill that requires New Jersey employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Once enacted, New Jersey will join nine other states and the District of Columbia in requiring paid sick leave.
On April 24, 2018, newly-elected Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) by significantly expanding existing pay equity protections for New Jersey employees, imposing difficult defense burdens on New Jersey employers, and creating a six-year statute of limitations for pay equity claims under the NJLAD.
On December 20, 2017, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law Senate Bill 3306, which expands the state’s ban-the-box law by explicitly prohibiting employers from inquiring into an applicant’s expunged criminal history.
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.
In 2018, the federal minimum wage will remain at $7.25 per hour for non-tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. The following table summarizes the statewide minimum wage increases that have been announced for 2018, along with the related changes to the maximum tip credit permitted and minimum cash wage allowed for tipped employees.
On November 9, 2017, the New Jersey Senate introduced Senate Bill 3518, which would drastically limit an employer’s ability to enter into, and subsequently enforce, restrictive covenants (or “non-compete” agreements) with employees. The bill would also impose certain notice and monetary obligations on employers that seek to enforce restrictive covenants against their former employees.
On May 19, 2017, a bill to codify the statute of limitations for claims filed pursuant to the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) and prohibit certain waiver provisions in employment contracts, advanced in the New Jersey Legislature.
In Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., No. 16-2685 (October 13, 2017), the Third Circuit Court of Appeals considered whether an employer’s failure to compensate employees for periods of 20 minutes or less time when they were relieved of all work-related duties violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, recently invalidated a regulation of the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act (UCA) that attempted to define, for the first time in codified form, the concept of “simple misconduct” by an employee that can limit his or her eligibility for unemployment benefits under the UCA.