2019: A Very Busy Year For New Jersey Employers
As 2019 comes to an end, it’s time to take a breather from another very busy year. New Jersey continued it’s push as one of the country’s most employee-friendly states, with a number of new laws and amendments to existing laws. A review of our employment law blog, Norris in the Workplace, posts shows just how active it’s been.
Expansion of New Jersey’s Family Leave laws – The New Jersey Family Leave Act now applies to employers with 30 or more employees and the Act’s application has been expanded with a broad definition of “family member.” On July 1, 2020, New Jersey Family Leave Insurance benefits will be increased from $650 to $860 per week and from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.
New Jersey Commuter Benefit Law – In March 2020, employers with 20 or more employers will be required to offer pre-tax commuter benefits to employees.
In July 2019, New Jersey passed a law that bans employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.
Also in July 2019, the Compassionate Use Act was amended, making it unlawful for employers to take any adverse employment action against applicants or employees who have been approved to receive medical marijuana. The law also outlines specific procedures for applicants or employees who test positive for medical marijuana.
In August 2019, the Wage Theft Act was passed. This law drastically increased the remedies, damages and possible liabilities against an employer who fail to pay their employees according to law.
On December 19, 2019, the “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act” (CROWN Act) was passed, prohibiting “discrimination against persons because of traits historically associated with race, particularly focused on discrimination based on hair texture and style.”
And don’t forget that on January 1, 2020, the New Jersey minimum wage increases to $11.00 per hour, while the minimum salary for white-collar overtime exemptions increases from $23,600 per year to $35,568.
All in all a very busy year indeed. There are sure to be more employment law developments when we ring in 2020.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all of you!