New Jersey Paid Sick Leave
Employers – no matter the size of business – must provide eligible employees up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employees may use accrued time for their own illness or to care for a covered family member. Accrued paid sick leave may also be used to make next-step plans (visits to court, police, doctors) by an employee who is a victim of sexual or domestic abuse or to assist a family member who has been a victim of such abuse. Leave could also include time to attend school-related meetings or if public health officials close workplaces, schools, or childcare facilities. Records of hours worked and earned sick time used per employee must be kept for five years.
New Jersey Transit Benefit Law
The Garden State became the first in the nation to mandate employers subject to New Jersey’s unemployment compensation law offer pre-tax transportation fringe benefits. Effective March 1, 2019, employers with 20 or more employees, excluding those currently covered by a collective bargaining agreement, must provide pre-tax election transportation benefits to those who commute via highway vehicle, use a transit pass, or pay for qualified parking and do so at the maximum level allowed under federal law (currently $265 per month). Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, commuting by bicycle was removed from reimbursement consideration. Penalties for noncompliance are inoperative until either the Labor Commissioner adopts rules and regulations for the law or March 1, 2020, whichever comes first. Fines will not be less than $100 or more than $250 for a first violation, but employers can avoid the fines by offering transit benefits within 90 days of noncompliance notification.
Sexual Harassment Laws of NY State
In 2018, New York state expanded employer requirements, offering protection from sexual harassment for non-employees including independent contractors. Employers must also adopt and distribute a sexual harassment prevention policy that meets the state’s minimum standards including an internal complaint form, and by Oct. 9, 2019 conduct compliant interactive sexual harassment prevention training for all employees. New employees should be trained as soon as possible. This training must be conducted annually.
Sexual Harassment Laws of NYC
The Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act became law in May 2018, expanding protection under the New York City Human Rights Law to employees and independent contractors working for businesses of any size. Businesses that employ 15 or more employees or independent contractors in NYC must conduct annual participatory anti-sexual harassment training for all employees and independent contractors. Also, an internal reporting process for complaints must be established. Employees now have three years after an alleged act to file a claim with the Commission on Human Rights. As of Sept. 6, 2018, the “Stop Sexual Harassment Notice” needs to be displayed in common areas accessible to employees in English and in Spanish, and all new employees must receive the mandated fact sheet upon hire.
NYC Paid Sick Leave
The city’s paid sick leave Law was recently renamed the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to reflect amendments that expanded the law to provide paid time off to individuals who they themselves or a family member have been a victim of domestic violence, sexual crimes, and human trafficking to address next steps (visits to court, police, doctors, etc.). New requirements include the timing of the mandatory distribution of the company paid safe and sick leave policy as well as an expanded definition of family member.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it will release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March of 2019 to address the federal overtime regulations, focusing on salary thresholds related to executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime requirements. Other provisions may be addressed as well.
Immigration and Form I-9
Every employee who began working on or after Nov. 6, 1986, is required to complete a Form I-9 to verify their identity authorization to work in the United States. With increases in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on-site workplace inspections, the serving of more Notice of Inspection forms, and higher fines for non-compliance, employers are urged to ensure compliance with the Forms I-9 recordkeeping requirements.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that is mandatory in most states, although rules vary from state to state as to how many people a business can employ before it is required. It is strongly recommended that employers carry workers’ compensation to mitigate risk to the financial wellness of their business and to protect any worker who has an injury or suffers an illness while executing duties at work. Coverage includes the payment of medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and loss of earnings.