Seyfarth Synopsis: The minimum wage will increase for New Jersey employers effective January 1, 2021.  It is also that time of year when we remind our clients with operations in New Jersey of their obligation to distribute certain required notices.

Minimum Wage 2021

In keeping with the gradual increase in the State's minimum wage levels, the new tiered rates across the State, effective, the minimum wage in New Jersey for most employers will increase to $12.00 an hour effective January 1, 2021.  For seasonal and small employers (fewer than six employees), the minimum wage will increase to $11.10 an hour.  The cash wage for tipped workers will also increase to $4.13 per hour.  We previously wrote about these scheduled increases here. The schedule of increases can also be found here.

Employers should also be sure to post the updated minimum wage poster, which can be accessed here.

CEPA Notice

Employers with 10 or more employees, regardless of whether those employees work in New Jersey or outside the state, must distribute annually (not merely post) the required notice under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The CEPA Notice, which must be provided in both English and Spanish to New Jersey employees, can be accessed here. Please be sure to fill out the “Contact Information” section prior to distribution. This distribution may take the form of email, provided the subject employees typically have access to email in the course of their job duties. Otherwise, hardcopy distribution is required.

Gender Equity Notice

On or before December 31, employers with 50 or more employees, regardless of whether those employees work in New Jersey or outside the state, must provide employees with a Gender Equity Notice, which can be accessed here.

The Gender Equity Notice can be distributed to New Jersey employees by:

  • email;
  • 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
  • an internet or intranet website “if the site is for the exclusive use of all workers, can be accessed by all workers, and the employer provides notice to the workers of its posting.”

Importantly, the Gender Equity Notice must be accompanied by an acknowledgment of receipt (signed or e-verified) by the employee, which must be returned within 30 days of receipt of the Notice. The law also requires that the acknowledgement be signed every time that the Notice is distributed. While CEPA does not expressly require such a signed acknowledgement, employers may wish to consider it.

NJ WARN Update

As we detailed earlier this year, New Jersey's WARN statute was amended twice in 2020, on January 21 and April 14.  The April 14 amendments were effective immediately and retroactive to March 9, 2020, while the much more substantive and employer-troubling January 21 amendments are in a holding pattern for the pandemic.  More specifically, the January 21 amendments will go into effect 90 days after Governor Murphy's Executive Order 103 (giving the governor emergency powers due to a state of emergency caused by COVID-19) is terminated.   Given the uptick in COVID-19 infections and related issues, there is no clear end date for E.O. 103 on the immediate horizon.  While these amendments are not effective yet, they should be considered by employers as business decisions are made about the future plans of all enterprises.

Originally Published by Seyfarth Shaw, December 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.