Act Now Advisory: Employer Posting Requirements Under New Jersey Law

Epstein Becker Green Labor and Employment

The list of employee notices that New Jersey employers are required to post has grown this year. Accordingly, as 2012 comes to a close, New Jersey employers should take some time to review the notification requirements relating to employees' workplace rights and responsibilities under state law.

Employers are mandated under New Jersey law to display official posters informing their employees of the law relating to employee rights and responsibilities. An employer that fails to comply with these requirements may face monetary fines and other penalties.

Generally, to comply with these regulations, an employer must post the most recent version of the posters in locations visible to all employees and applicants for employment. Employers should display these notices in areas accessible to all employees, such as a lunchroom, break-room, or human resources office. New Jersey also requires that certain of the notices be distributed to employees. This article serves as a reminder and summary of New Jersey's notification requirements applicable to most employers.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development ("NJDOL") provides employers with poster packets containing the required notices, which are available for downloading at:
http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/employer/content/employerpacketforms.html.

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services provides notices compliant with the New Jersey Smoke-Free Air Act, which are available for downloading at:
http://www.nj.gov/health/ctcp/smokefree/nosmoking.shtml.

Note that, although some of the regulations specify that the notices be on legal size paper (8½ x 14 inches), the posters from the state's website printout are letter size (8½ x 11) and are considered compliant. In addition, a New Jersey "all-in-one" poster may be purchased from a reputable supplier.

Posters required by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights are available for download at: http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/posters.html.

Posters must be displayed in locations that are accessible and easily visible to all employees. In addition, for some laws, a notice must be posted in both English and Spanish.

New Jersey requires the following posters/notices:

Statute

Description/Specifications

Conscientious Employee Protection Act ("CEPA")

The notice must advise employees of their rights under New Jersey's "Whistleblower" Act. In addition to being posted, the notice must be distributed annually to all employees. (English and Spanish)

NEW IN 2012:
Gender-Equality Posting Law*

Every employer in New Jersey with 50 or more employees must post a notice advising employees of their right to be free from gender inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits, or other terms or conditions of employment under the NJLAD (defined below) and other state and federal antidiscrimination statutes. Employers are also required to distribute a copy of the notice: (i) in English and Spanish and any other language spoken by 10% of the workforce, provided a notice has been issued in that language by the NJDOL; (ii) to all employees no later than 30 days after the notice is issued by the NJDOL; (iii) at the time of an employee's hiring; (iv) to all employees annually (and the employer must obtain a written acknowledgement of receipt); and (v) at any time upon the request of an employee. The notice may be transmitted electronically to employees via e-mail or a website, so long as it is accessible and the employer provides notice to employees that the notice has been posted electronically.

Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD")

Notices must advise employees of their rights under the NJLAD. Although not required, many employers distribute their company's nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policy to employees annually and/or at anti-harassment training sessions.

New Jersey Family Insurance Law

In addition to posting, employers must provide employees with a written copy of the notification: (i) at the time of the employee's hiring, (ii) whenever an employee provides notice of a potential claim, and (iii) upon the first request of the employee. Written notification may be electronically transmitted to employees.

New Jersey Family Leave Act

Employers covered under the law, whether or not they have any eligible employees, must display the official Family Leave Act poster.

New Jersey Wage Payment

Posters must advise employees of the law relating to the payment of wages, minimum hourly rates, overtime rates, acceptable deductions from wages, and employee rights and employer penalties under the law.

New Jersey Wage, Benefit, and Tax Laws

The notice must advise employees of reporting and recordkeeping requirements of eight statutes. Additionally, employers must provide all employees with a written copy of the notification, and a copy to each new employee at the time of hiring.

Unemployment and Temporary Disability Benefits

Employers covered by the law must advise of benefits available to qualifying employees under disability insurance and unemployment compensation. (English and Spanish)

Workers' Compensation Law

Employers are required to advise employees of benefits available to workers injured on the job and information on the procedure for filing workers' compensation claims. (English and Spanish)

Smoke-Free Work Place Notice

A person (including a business) that has control over an indoor public or work space must prominently post at every entrance a sign stating that smoking is prohibited. The lettering or nonsmoking symbol must be in a contrasting color from the sign's background, and the sign must advise that violators will be subject to a fine.

New Jersey Child Labor Laws

Employers that employ individuals under the age of 18 must post a printed abstract of the New Jersey Child Labor Law and prohibited occupations as well as a schedule of hours posted in a conspicuous area advising of the (i) names of minors under 18, (ii) schedule of hours, (iii) maximum daily and weekly hours, (iv) daily time record, and (v) daily meal times.

New Jersey Right-to-Know Law

The law's posting requirement applies to employers whose workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals and publicemployers only. Private, as well as public employers, however, must label containers with their chemical contents and complete an annual chemical inventory survey.

*The Gender-Equality Posting Law became effective on November 19, 2012. The law does not, however, require that the notification be posted or distributed on that effective date. The notification requirements are not triggered until the New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development issues the form of notification by regulation, which will likely take at least a few months. Employers will have 30 days from the date of the issuance of the form of notification to comply with the notification and posting requirements of the law.

In addition to the above, New Jersey also has posting requirements aimed at specific sectors of the labor force. For example, New Jersey employers associated with the sale, rental, or lease of properties are required to advise of the NJLAD in housing. Employers that provide services to the public—including, but not limited to, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, movie theaters and shopping centers—must advise patrons of the NJLAD in public accommodations. These businesses should display posters in areas readily accessible to the public (for example, near cash registers). Health care facilities must post notices apprising employees of mandatory overtime restrictions.

Employers are advised to check the NJDOL's website at least annually for any new, or changes to, required notices, as out-of-date notices are noncompliant and can also subject employers to fines.

In addition, employers should remember the need to similarly comply with posting requirements under federal law, which most employers accomplish by purchasing an "all-in-one" poster from a reputable supplier or by downloading at:
http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/osdbu/sbrefa/poster/matrix.htm.

What Employers Should Do Now

  • Review all posting requirements applicable to your company.
  • Update your company's postings to ensure compliance with both federal and state law.
  • Review your company's new hire materials to ensure that they include the required notices.
  • In January, distribute the annual CEPA notice.
  • When it is available, distribute the gender-equality notice to all employees (and then every January thereafter).

*****

For more information about this Advisory, please contact:

Maxine H. Neuhauser
Newark
(973) 639-8269
[email protected]

Amy E. Hatcher
Newark
(973) 639-8257
[email protected]

 

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