Five Employment Laws Every Manager Should Be Aware of in New Jersey

It is important for managers to know New Jersey employment laws for several reasons, including the following:

  1. Compliance: Managers are responsible for ensuring that their organization complies with all relevant employment laws. Failure to comply with these laws can result in legal action, fines, and other penalties. Therefore, it is important for managers to have a thorough understanding of New Jersey employment laws to ensure that their organization is in compliance.
  2. Risk Management: Knowledge of employment laws can help managers identify potential legal risks and take proactive measures to mitigate those risks. This can include developing policies and procedures that are compliant with the law, training employees on their rights and responsibilities, and documenting employment decisions to help defend against legal challenges.
  3. Employee Relations: Understanding employment laws can help managers create a positive and respectful workplace culture that supports employee well-being and productivity. For example, managers who are knowledgeable about anti-discrimination laws can help prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace, which can improve employee morale and retention.

Throughout the rest of this article, we will walk through the five employment laws every manager in New Jersey should be aware of. 

1. New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law

The New Jersey Wage and Hour Law is a set of regulations that governs the payment of wages and overtime for employees in the state of New Jersey. The law establishes minimum wage rates and requires that most employees be paid overtime pay at a rate of one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.  

It is important for managers to be aware of the New Jersey Wage and Hour law because they are responsible for ensuring that their company complies with these regulations. Failure to comply with the law can result in penalties, fines, and legal action in court or the New Jersey Department of Labor.  

The New Jersey Wage Payment Law (NJWPL) is a state law that outlines the requirements for paying wages and compensation to employees. The law applies to all employers in New Jersey, regardless of their size or industry, and covers hourly and salaried employees.

Under the NJWPL, employers are required to:

  1. Pay employees their wages on time: Employers must pay their employees at least twice per month, and the pay periods must be no more than 10 days apart. In addition, employers must pay employees for all wages earned within a certain pay period no later than 10 days after the end of that period.
  2. Pay employees the correct amount: Employers must pay employees the agreed-upon rate of pay for the work they have performed, and cannot make unauthorized deductions from their paychecks. Additionally, employers must provide employees with a statement of earnings that shows the hours worked, the rate of pay, and any deductions.
  3. Provide employees with notice of their pay rate: Employers must provide employees with written notice of their pay rate and the method of payment, either at the time of hire or within 30 days of the start of employment. If the pay rate changes, employers must provide employees with written notice of the change at least one pay period before it takes effect.
  4. Pay terminated employees in a timely manner: Employers must pay terminated employees their final wages within a certain time frame, depending on the circumstances of the termination.

2. New Jersey Whistleblower Law 

In general, the main whistleblower law in the State of New Jersey is the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”).  CEPA is a state law that protects employees from retaliation by their employers for reporting or objecting to illegal or unethical activities in the workplace. The law is designed to encourage employees to speak up about wrongful conduct by their employers without fear of retaliation.

CEPA prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who disclose or threaten to disclose any activity or practice they reasonably believe is illegal, fraudulent, or harmful to public health or safety. It also protects employees who refuse to participate in activities that they reasonably believe to be illegal, fraudulent, or harmful.

It is important for managers to know about CEPA because they have a responsibility to ensure that their company is complying with the law and that employees are protected from retaliation.

In addition, knowing about CEPA can help managers create a culture of ethics and compliance within their company. By promoting a workplace culture that values ethical conduct and encourages employees to report concerns, managers can help prevent illegal or unethical conduct from occurring in the first place.

3. New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) 

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) is a state law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants based on certain protected characteristics. The law applies to employers of all sizes and covers a wide range of employment practices, including hiring, firing, promotions, and compensation.

The protected characteristics under the LAD include race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and marital status. The law also prohibits discrimination against individuals who are pregnant or have a pregnancy-related condition.

The LAD prohibits several types of discrimination, including disparate treatment, which occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant differently because of a protected characteristic, and disparate impact, which occurs when an employer’s policies or practices have a disproportionately negative effect on individuals with a protected characteristic.

The LAD also requires employers to provide workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities, such as modified work schedules or equipment, to enable them to perform their job duties.

It is important for managers to know about the LAD because they have a responsibility to ensure that their company is complying with the law and that employees are not subject to discrimination.

Additionally, managers who are aware of the LAD can help create a workplace culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). By promoting an inclusive workplace, managers can help ensure that all employees are treated fairly and that the company benefits from the diverse perspectives and experiences of its workforce. 

4. New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)

The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) is a state law that provides eligible employees with job-protected leave for certain family and medical reasons. The NJFLA applies to employers with 30 or more employees and covers eligible employees who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months and for at least 1,000 hours during the previous 12 months.

Under the NJFLA, eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a 24-month period for any of the following reasons:

  1. The birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child
  2. To care for a family member with a serious health condition
  3. To recover from the employee’s own serious health condition

It is important for managers to be aware of the NJFLA so they can take steps to ensure compliance with the law, such as developing policies and procedures for requesting and approving leave, providing employees with required notices and forms, and training supervisors and managers on the requirements of the law.

5. New Jersey Equal Pay Act (NJ EPA)

The New Jersey Equal Pay Act (NJ EPA) addresses wage discrimination based on gender. The law prohibits employers from paying unequal wages to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work unless the wage differential is based on seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or any other factor other than sex.

The NJ EPA requires that employers provide equal pay for equal work, regardless of the job title or position held by the employees. The law applies to all employers, regardless of size, and covers all employees, including part-time, full-time, temporary, and seasonal employees.

The NJ EPA provides employees with a private right of action to sue their employers for wage discrimination. If an employee prevails in a wage discrimination claim under the NJ EPA, they may be entitled to recover lost wages, liquidated damages, and attorney’s fees.

A New Jersey Employment Attorney Can Ensure You’re Compliant  

Keeping track of the dynamic and evolving changes in employment laws is an important part of running a successful business. CMS employment attorneys understand how critical employment matters are to keeping your business running smoothly and with business goals in mind, CMS attorneys provide employers and business owners with important practical and preventative strategic legal advice to minimize risk and help them avoid potential liability.  And, if necessary, our employment attorneys act as strong advocates in defending employers when litigation arises.  If you need an employment attorney to help you navigate through the employment laws in the State of New Jersey, please contact Curcio Mirzaian Sirot LLC.   

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