Be in the know; here are some of the significant New Jersey employment laws that become effective in 2020:
Salary History Ban, effective January 2020
Employers are prohibited from asking about or considering an applicant’s wage, salary or benefits history when considering them for employment or negotiating an offer of employment, unless the applicant voluntarily and without employer prompting or coercion provides the employer with his/her salary history during the application process.
Minimum Wage Increases to $11.00 an hour, effective January 2020
On February 4, 2019 Governor Murphy signed into law to raise the minimum wage from $8.85 an hour to $15 an hour as part of a phased increase to be completed in 2024. Under the new law, the first raise of $1.15—up to $10.00 an hour—became effective on July 1, 2019. Thereafter, the Garden State’s annual minimum wage will increase by the greater of either the federal consumer price index or $1.00 on the first day of each subsequent year, until it reaches at least $15.00 in 2024. For covered workers, including teens, the minimum wage rate will rise to the following levels:
- At least $11.00 an hour on January 1, 2020
- At least $12.00 an hour on January 1, 2021
- At least $13.00 an hour on January 1, 2022
- At least $14.00 an hour on January 1, 2023
- At least $15.00 an hour on January 1, 2024
There is a delayed increase fr certain businesses. The minimum wage for employees of very small businesses and seasonal employees will increase from $8.85 to at least $10.30 on January 1, 2020; at least $11.10 in 2021; at least $11.90 in 2022; at least $12.70 in 2023; at least $13.50 in 2024; at least $14.30 in 2025; and at least $15.00 in 2026.
New Jersey Expands Family Leave Laws, effective July 2020
New Jersey amended its NJFLA, NJFLI, and Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act laws to provide employees with greater rights. One significant change is that, effective July 2020, employees will be eligible for 12 weeks (not just 6 weeks) of wage replacement benefits from the state, and the weekly maximum benefit is increased to 85 percent of the employee’s weekly wage. Finally, the amended law eliminates the seven-day waiting period for NJFLI benefits. Formerly, employees did not receive benefits for the first seven days of family leave, unless benefits continued for more than three weeks, in which case the initial seven days were paid retroactively. The amendment eliminates the seven-day waiting period altogether for NJFLI benefits.
Last year, effective June 30, 2019, employers with more than 30 employees are required to provide those employees working in New Jersey with 12 weeks of job-protected family leave during each 24- month period. This change differs from takes the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which applies only to employers with 50 or more employees.
On July 1, 2020 employee rights under the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act (which provides leave for victims of domestic violence) expands for employees taking leave under the SAFE Act who will now be eligible for wage replacement benefits from the state, just like employees who take NJFLA leave.