As we previously reported in May of 2022, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued proposed regulations to allow employers to satisfy the state’s “Law Against Discrimination (LAD)” and “Family Leave Act (NJFLA)” poster requirements via electronic or other means rather than a physical bulletin board as employees are increasingly working from home or in places other than an employer’s worksite. These proposed regulations have been amended, finalized and adopted by the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) as of August 1, 2022.
Requirements to Display Posters
The finalized regulations still require employers to prominently display “in places easily visible” to employees and applicants, posters to inform individuals of their rights and obligations under LAD and NJFLA.
Distribution of Notices to Employees
In addition to the posting requirements, the finalized regulations expand the current notice requirements by mandating that employers distribute copies of the posters to each employee annually, on or before December 31 of each year; and upon the first request of an employee.
Employers may satisfy these distribution requirements by providing the notices via email, through printed material, including, but not limited to, paycheck inserts; brochures 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 use of all employees, can be accessed by all employees, and the employer provides notice to the employees of its posting.
Both required posters are available for download and printing on the state’s website under the “Employment” tab, or can be picked up at any of the Division’s offices. Any poster printed from the Division’s website shall be printed on no smaller than letter size paper (8½ by 11 inches) and contain text that is fully legible and large enough to be easily read.
To guide employers in understanding which poster(s) apply, the Division has also created a flow chart which is available by clicking here.
Next Steps for Employers
It may be a good time for employers to ensure that they are aware of the leave requirements under NJFLA, which has been through several sets of amendments over the years. Key highlights of NJFLA are that it applies to employers with 30 or more employees, regardless of location and provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave during any 24-month period to employees who have worked for their employer for at least one year and have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past 12 months. Leave may be taken to care for a “covered family members” with a serious health condition; or who has been isolated or quarantined because of suspected exposure to a communicable disease (such as COVID-19) during a state of emergency; or to provide required care of treatment of a child during a state of emergency if their school or place of care is closed due to an epidemic of a communicable disease or other health emergency.
Of importance, certain aspects of NJFLA differ from the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) including, but not limited to, employer coverage, employee eligibility, reasons for leave, the definition covered family members, and the period for when leave resets. As a result, employers should educate themselves on key differences to ensure they fully understand and can determine when these leaves may or may not run concurrently.
While on NJFLA, employees may also be eligible for partial wage replacement benefits through the state’s Family Leave Insurance program.
For compliance with the new posting and notice requirements, it is recommended that employers develop common standards for electronically distributing all state-mandated notices and that special attention is paid to the state’s requirement on the size and legibility of the notice. Employers should follow best practices for providing notices to remote employees which would include ensuring that an electronic posting, whether by intranet site, shared network drive, or file system is as effective as a hard copy posting. Lastly, employers should take reasonable steps to inform employees of where and how to access the required postings to remain in compliance.