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Category: Employment Law

Changes Coming to the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Program & Family Leave Act in 2019/2020

The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act provides protection for employees to take unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Although this is the norm for many businesses, states often have their own leave regulations. New Jersey, for instance, has its own similar leave laws called the New Jersey Family Leave Act. The state of New Jersey Department of Children & Families’ purpose of this policy is to promote economic security. This act lets employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave in a 24-month period without losing their jobs. Additionally, New Jersey provides cash benefits through the Family Leave Insurance Program.

There are some changes ahead in regards to New Jersey Law. The New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed a new bill into law on Feb 19, 2019. This law modifies the New Jersey Family Leave Act (FLA) and the New Jersey Paid Family Leave Insurance Program (FLI). To ensure that you understand the new changes, check with New Jersey’s  department of labor. All of the information provided below is a guide for you to use, but is not intended to be legal advice.

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Are You Underpaying Your Employees?

Let’s face it: there are a lot of regulations to follow when it comes to owning a business. Following all the applicable laws can be tough. Although it can be time consuming, you should make sure that you are always following the latest legal protocol. The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to hire an HR consultant to keep you on the right path. However, not every business can afford someone like that, so you should know where to go if you’re the self-help type of business owner. A good place to start is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) website. The FLSA establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor. So, what are some common pitfalls employers run into that lead to underpaying employees?

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The ABC Test for Independent Contractors Is Not a Federal Rule

independent contractors abc test checklist

The California Supreme Court recently ruled on a change to the test that a hiring entity must use in order to determine if a worker is an independent contractor or not. It’s a much stricter and, as a result, clearer test than what existed before or which exists now with the Department of Labor. Worker classification is notoriously nebulous. Now in California, with the independent contractors ABC test, the definition is much easier to interpret.

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DOL Opinion Letter On Travel Time Compensability

legal writing

The FLSA is a set of federal laws regarding minimum wage, overtime, and other important workplace practices. The rules aren’t always easy to understand, however, and sometimes they get misinterpreted by business owners and even by the courts. (As an example, the supreme court recently had to step in and give the final word on a type of overtime exemption.) This is why the Department of Labor has provided opinion letters to help clarify some of the more confusing scenarios.

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Supreme Court Ruling Rejects Narrow Construction in Overtime Exemption Cases

Narrow construction overtime exception

While the April 2nd Supreme Court ruling may only apply to a very small segment of workers and probably only affects a single wage and hour lawsuit currently, this departure from the longstanding approach at interpreting overtime exemption will likely have broader implications and affect more workers in the future.

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DOL’s Wage & Hour Violation Self Reporting Program

Talking through a problem

On March 6, 2018 the Department of Labor launched a pilot program allowing employers to audit their own pay practices and catch and report their own wage and hour mistakes. It’s called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) Program and will operate for six months as a pilot program.

Prior to now, wage and hour mistakes would land employers in court where they would have to pay court and lawyer fees, back wages, and liquidated damages. With the PAID program, if mistakes are caught independently and in good faith, employers can avoid the extra costs and simply pay employees back for the mistakes made.

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