They say that change is one of the few constants in life. If that’s true, then 2019 was as constant as a year could be for New Jersey employers.
Let’s take a look at some of the significant changes to Garden State employment law over the past year.
Last July, the minimum wage was bumped up to $10 per hour here. It jumped again, this time up to $11 per hour, starting on the first day of 2020. Minimum wage is scheduled to go up every January 1st until 2024, when it will reach $15 per hour (with few exceptions).
Penalties for wage violations
Last year also saw big changes to New Jersey’s wage and hour laws, including bigger penalties for wage violations. The statue of limitations was tripled from two years to six with possible trebled damages plus attorneys’ fees and civil penalties.
The wage and hour law changes also include a reworked definition of “employer” – meaning that successor entities can be held responsible for what prior entities did.
You’ll undoubtedly recall that in 2018, the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act was enacted, carrying heavy penalties for employers who pay any member of a protected class less than those not in the protected class for doing essentially the same work.
As of July of last year, the New Jersey Family Leave Act was expanded to cover more employers – now including companies with as few as 30 employees (previously only those with 50 or more were included). Employers included must provide job-protected family leave.
The law also allows workers to take intermittent leave to bond with a child (no employer's consent needed) while also the notice needed for such leave.
We will have more on other 2019 changes to New Jersey employment law in an upcoming post. Please check back.