New Jersey’s Workforce to Adapt to New Legislation
New Jersey has a track record of protecting employees with policies that lead the nation in progressive employment legislation. The Murphy Administration has introduced many new laws that impact millions of employees throughout the state. Here is a list of laws that have been or will be enacted. Feel free to give us a call if you have questions about how any of these pieces of legislation may affect you or your business.
$15.00 Per Hour Minimum Wage
Gov. Murphy signed this bill into law on February 4th, 2019, making New Jersey the fourth state to raise the minimum wage in an attempt to combat income inequality. The Governor outlined a plan that will essentially gradually raise the minimum wage from $8.85 until it reaches $15.00 per hour by 2024 and will follow this schedule:
$10.00 per hour on July 1, 2019,
$11.00 on January 1, 2020,
$12.00 on January 1, 2021,
$13.00 on January 1, 2022,
$14.00 on January 1, 2023,
and $15.00 will be reached on January 1, 2024.
Increase to New Jersey Family Leave Benefits
Senate Bill No. 2528 which was signed into law on Tuesday, Feb 19th, 2019, is a taxpayer-funded expansion to the already existing Family Leave Act (FLA) and Paid Family Leave Insurance (FLI). This bill allows New Jersyans to get benefits for up to 12 weeks if they are expecting a child or needing to take time off to care for a sick family member.
Employees will be eligible to receive benefits if they pay into the program on their payroll, have worked at least 20 weeks with an income of at least $172 weekly, or have earned at least $8,600 in the last 12 months. The new law expands the wage deduction cap from $34,400 to $131,000, thereby reducing employee take home pay beyond the current cap, however, wage reimbursement will increase to 85% of wages, up to $860 per week. Also, the period of reimbursement will expand from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.
Effective June 3rd, 2019, employers with more than 30 employees will have to restore employees to their prior position. This is a major change to existing law, which only provided such protections to employee who worked for employers with more than 50 employees.
Law Banning Non-Disclosure Agreements of Harassment and Discrimination
Senate Bill No. 121 recently passed in both houses and is expected to arrive at the Governor’s desk soon. This bill aims to ban non-disclosure agreements in cases of workplace discrimination and harassment. Inspired by the #MeToo movement, this bill will outlaw contracts that force accusers to keep secret the details of their case, and the amount of settlement money they have received. Both parties can mutually agree to keep the details secret, however no formal contract will be enforceable under this soon to be new law.
If you have any questions about how these laws will affect your business and workforce, please give us a call or send us an email at [email protected]. Our experienced attorneys are always available to answer your questions.