Recognizing that workers are increasingly working from home or in places other than an employer’s worksite, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued proposed regulations on March 21, 2022, that would allow employers to satisfy the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) and Family Leave Act (NJFLA) poster requirements via an internet or intranet site rather than a conventional bulletin board in the workplace. Specifically, the proposed rules provide that “[i]n the event that an employer has an internet site or intranet site for use by its employees to which all employees have access and the employer customarily posts notices to affected employees or other affected individuals electronically on the site, posting of the official [LAD and NJFLA] poster[s]” on the internet or intranet site will satisfy the laws’ posting requirements.
The proposed regulations would also expand the current notice requirements by mandating that employers distribute copies of the posters to each employee “(1) [a]nnually, on or before December 31 of each year; and (2) [u]pon the first request of an employee.” An employer would be permitted to satisfy these distribution requirements “(1) [b]y email delivery; (2) [t]hrough printed material, including, but not limited to, paycheck inserts; brochure or similar informational packet provided to new hires; an attachment to an employee manual or policy book; or flyer distributed at an employee meeting; or (3) [t]hrough an internet or intranet website, if the site is for the use of all employees, can be accessed by all employees, and the employer provides notice to the employees of its posting.”
The new proposed posting and distribution requirements are similar (but not identical) to the existing requirements applicable to the state’s Gender Equity Notice, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Notice, Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) Notice, and Family Leave Insurance Notice. Although the DCR’s proposed acceptance of electronic distribution methods is a welcome change, employers would certainly appreciate the DCR and the New Jersey Department of Labor working together to develop approved, common standards for the posting and distribution of the numerous state-mandated notices.
In addition to the above proposed changes, the DCR is proposing significant changes to the posting requirements for places of public accommodation. Under the proposal, DCR would be permitted to create “category-specific” posters for different types of places of public accommodation, such as schools, restaurants, and healthcare entities, so that the content could be better tailored to each setting.
Public comments on the proposed rules may be submitted until May 20, 2022, after which the DCR will review the comments, potentially make changes to the proposed rules, and issue final regulations.
Ogletree Deakins’ Morristown office will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the DCR’s proposed posting requirements and will post updates on the firm’s New Jersey blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.