ACTION REQUIRED: See Details Below
With the end of 2022 fast approaching, Pro Bono Partnership wants to remind nonprofits of the notices that they might need to hand out to their New Jersey-based employees, at the time of hire and/or annually.
We also want to alert nonprofits about other notice obligations, including the recently revised rules relating to the posters/notices required by (1) the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) with respect to employment, public accommodations (particularly medical facilities), and housing, and (2) the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA).
New Jersey employers are obligated to give their New Jersey-based employees notice about the employees’ rights under certain New Jersey and federal laws. These laws require that specific notices be posted in the workplace and, in some cases, given to employees at the time of hire, upon request, and/or annually. Many of the required posters were revised in 2022, so employers need to check to see if they have the latest notices posted.
Complete Overhaul of the Notice/Poster Requirements under the NJLAD and the NJFLA in 2022
In August 2022, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (NJDCR) significantly revised the notice/poster obligations applicable to employers, places of public accommodations, and housing. The NJDCR created a new web page that has guides for navigating the new requirements and links to revised and brand new notices/posters.
The notices have been posted in English and Spanish. While the NJDCR’s revised regulations do not mandate posting or distribution in a language other than English, it would be advisable to post and distribute both the English and the Spanish versions.
With respect to employment, the NJLAD is applicable to all New Jersey employers, with one or more employees in New Jersey. The NJFLA is applicable to New Jersey employers with 30 or more employees (regardless of the states in which the employees are located).
In addition to posting the newly revised NJLAD and NJFLA notices in their New Jersey workplaces, employers must now provide a copy of each applicable notice to each New Jersey employee (1) annually on or before December 31 and (2) at any time upon the first request of the employee.
Employers must make the written copy of each applicable notice available to each employee using one of the following methods:
- By e-mail delivery;
- Through printed material, including, but not limited to, a pay check insert, brochure or similar informational packet provided to new hires, an attachment to an employee manual or policy book, or flyer distributed at an employee meeting; or
- Through an internet or intranet website, if the site is for the exclusive use of all employees, can be accessed by all employees, and the employer provides notice to the employees of its posting.
If an employer opts to use an internet or intranet website, the employer should send an annual reminder to employees that each applicable notice is posted on the website.
These are the same distribution methods that New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDLWD) permits with respect to the Gender Equity Notice and Employer Obligation to Maintain and Report Records Notice, both of which are discussed below.
The NJDCR released a revised general poster for places of public accommodations, which many workplaces are. In addition, the NJDCR issued a set of different posters that medical facilities must use instead of the general poster:
- Pre- and Postnatal Facilities Poster, including OB/GYN providers, birthing centers, doula and midwife providers, and fertility clinics
- Mental Health Facilities Poster, including, rehabilitation or treatment facilities, state or local psychiatric hospitals, and harm reduction service providers
- Emergency and Trauma Facilities Poster, including hospitals, urgent care centers, vaccination and testing sites, and ambulatory care centers
- Long- and Short-Term Care Facilities, including independent living facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and adult day care facilities
- Alternative Treatment Centers Poster, including harm reduction centers, and medicinal marijuana dispensaries
- Licensed Professional Facilities Poster, including doctor’s and dentists’ offices, pharmacies, clinics, acupuncturist offices, and therapy offices
Please see the NJDCR’s revised regulations (N.J.A.C. 13:8-1.4) governing public accommodations for details regarding the posting requirements.
With respect to housing, the NJDCR released two new posters for use in two different situations:
Please see the NJDCR’s revised regulations (N.J.A.C. 13:8-1.3) governing housing for details regarding posting and distribution requirements.
Earned Sick Leave Notice
The NJDLWD has published the notice required by the New Jersey Earned/Paid Sick Leave Act. The notice is available in English, Arabic, Chinese-simplified, Chinese-traditional, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tagalog.
All employers (regardless of size) must fill in the “benefit year” that they have selected and then (1) conspicuously post the notice in each of their workplaces in New Jersey; (2) provide a copy of the notice to each of their current New Jersey employees (which should have been done by November 2018); (3) provide a copy of the notice to new employees, at the time of hire; and (4) provide a copy of the notice upon the first request of an employee.
The Earned/Paid Sick Leave Act expressly states that an “employer shall use the notification in English, Spanish or any other language for which the [NJDLWD] has provided notifications and which is the first language of a majority of the employer’s workforce.” (Emphasis added.) Although the foregoing sentence uses the word “or,” if a majority of an employer’s workforce does not speak English or Spanish, the employer should still consider also posting and distributing the English and Spanish versions of the NJDLWD’s notice.
See Pro Bono Partnership’s article New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act for more details.
Gender Equity Notice
Each year, by no later than December 31, New Jersey employers with 50 or more employees—regardless of the states in which the employees are located—must provide, in English and Spanish, a copy of a Gender Equity Notice to all of their New Jersey employees. These employers also must give the notice to all new employees in New Jersey at the time of hire, as well as to any employee upon the first request of the employee. The notice advises employees of their rights to be free of gender discrimination under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and two federal laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
The notice must be accompanied by an acknowledgment that the employee has received the notice and has read and understands its terms. This acknowledgment must be signed by the employee, in writing or by means of electronic verification, and returned to the employer within 30 days of its receipt. The NJDLWD has prepared a form notice and acknowledgment that an employer may use.
See Pro Bono Partnership’s article New Jersey Gender Equity Notice for more details.
New Jersey employers with 10 or more employees—regardless of the states in which the employees are located— must annually provide, in English and Spanish, a copy of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA or “Whistleblower Act”) Notice to all of their New Jersey employees. Although not required, an employer might consider providing a copy of the CEPA Notice to new employees at the time of hire.
The NJDLWD has prepared a form notice that an employer may use. Employers must fill in the name, address, and telephone number for the person to whom CEPA complaints need to be directed. It might make sense to list two people, such as the executive director and the chair of the board of trustees’ personnel or executive committee, in which case the address and phone number for both people will need to be listed.
All employers (regardless of size) must give their New Jersey employees, at the time of hire:
- The Employer Obligation to Maintain and Report Records Notice (a/k/a the Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements Under State Wage, Benefit and Tax Laws Notice); and
- The New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Notice.
The NJDLWD has prepared form notices that an employer may use for these purposes.
If an employer does not have a written policy or employee handbook covering leaves of absence relating to the following topics, then the employer:
- If it has 50 or more employees (regardless of the states in which the employees are located), must give all employees in New Jersey, at the time of hire, a notice of their rights and obligations under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If an employer does not have this information in its employee handbook, it can distribute the U.S. Department of Labor’s FMLA Fact Sheet #28.
- If it has 30 or more employees (regardless of the states in which the employees are located), must give all employees in New Jersey, at the time of hire, a notice of their rights and obligations under the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA). If an employer does not have this information in its employee handbook, it can distribute the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights’ NJFLA Fact Sheet.
- If it has 25 or more employees (regardless of the states in which the employees are located), should consider giving all employees in New Jersey, at the time of hire, a notice of their rights and obligations under the New Jersey SAFE Act. The NJDLWD has prepared a NJ SAFE Act notice that an employer may use. For more information, see Pro Bono Partnership’s article New Jersey SAFE Act: Unpaid Leave for Victims of Domestic or Sexual Violence.
Although not expressly mandated by law, employers are strongly encouraged to provide all employees, at the time of hire and annually, a copy of the employers’ antiharassment/antidiscrimination policy, which should include an easy-to-understand internal complaint procedure.
Worker Misclassification Notice Must Be Posted in NJ Workplaces
In May 2020, the NJDLWD released a notice, which all employers in New Jersey must conspicuously post in the workplace, that sets forth an explanation of the prohibition against employers misclassifying their employees; the benefits and protections to which employees are entitled under New Jersey wage, benefit, and tax laws; and the remedies under New Jersey law that employees affected by misclassification might be entitled to.
The notice is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tagalog. There does not appear to be an obligation to post this notice in any language other than English.
To learn about the details of this new this requirement, please see our June 2020 legal alert for details.
New Wage Theft Act Notice is Forthcoming
In August 2019, the New Jersey Wage Theft Act became law. Please see our November 2019 legal alert.
The NJDLWD is required to issue a new notice of employees’ rights under New Jersey wage-hours and criminal laws, with an explanation of how to file a claim or take action under those laws. Once that notice is released, employers will need to give a copy of the notice to all of their current New Jersey employees and to new employees, at the time of hire. It is unclear whether the NJDLWD will also require that the Notice be posted in each workplace.
Download the NJDLWD Notices
The NJDLWD’s form notices that are referenced above can be downloaded from the NJDLWD’s Employer Poster Packet web page.
If you would like to receive a revised comprehensive listing of the various New Jersey and federal notices that most New Jersey employers are required to post and/or distribute to employees, or if you have questions about any of the topics discussed above, please contact Christine Michelle Duffy, Esq., in our Parsippany office, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-240-6955 x303. During the past year, several New Jersey and federal agencies issued revised editions of their required posters, so this would be a good time to check that you have the latest versions posted.
This document is provided as a general informational service to volunteers, clients, and friends of Pro Bono Partnership. It should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does distribution of this document create an attorney-client relationship.