Now that we are beginning a new year, New Jersey businesses should review the following list to help ensure they are mitigating risk in 2022.
Conduct a Human Resources Checkup
There are over 27 federal and New Jersey state employment laws businesses need to comply with. Certain laws do not kick in until a business gets to 15, 25, 30 or 50 employees. Some statutes require special notices to be provided to new hires, or all employees annually. And wage and hour laws get more and more complex each year.
Additionally, hiring, promotion or termination practices, which on their face may seem fair, may be looked at by a third party as discriminatory.
For businesses of all sizes, an employee handbook sets clear expectations for your employees, while also stating your legal obligations and defining employee rights. The employee handbook can help protect your business against employee lawsuits and claims, such as wrongful termination, harassment and discrimination.
If you have an employee handbook, it should be reviewed annually to ensure it remains comprehensive and that it is updated to comply with any recent federal, state or local employment laws.
Many businesses find it attractive to hire someone for a temporary period of time to fill a need without having to pay benefits or payroll taxes. All 1099s need to pass the IRS independent contractor and New Jersey ABC tests.
Companies who misclassify will be hit with hefty civil penalties and compensatory damages.
Exempt or Non-exempt?
Many businesses pay employees a set annual salary regardless of their job duties, not paying them overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) outlines the difference between an exempt (salaried) and non-exempt (overtime eligible) worker. Job duties need to be reviewed and put through the FLSA exemption test.
Businesses who misclassify overtime-eligible employees as exempt are guilty of wage theft, which comes with costly monetary penalties.
Preventing Sexual Harassment Training
Many states, including New York, Connecticut and California, are mandating that businesses provide sexual harassment awareness sessions for employees and managers.
For employees, sessions focus on defining sexual harassment and explaining the company’s complaint process. For managers, sessions are geared toward identifying, preventing, and handling complaints of sexual harassment.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has stated it is his hope sexual harassment training will soon be mandatory in his state for businesses of all sizes.
Whether mandatory of not, sexual harassment is an issue that all New Jersey businesses need to take seriously. A botched sexual harassment complaint can cost a business over $80K.
Let Marzano Human Resources Consulting guide you through all of the above.