In January 2020, Governor Murphy signed a series of legislation to address misclassification in the workplace. These newly enacted laws included: stop-work orders (A5838); penalties for misclassifications of employees (A5839); joint liability for payment of employer tax law (A5840); workplace poster for employees regarding employee misclassification (A5843); publication of employers who violate NJ wage and hour laws (S4226) and tax data sharing between the State Treasury and NJ DOL (S4228).
First, A5838 applies to all employers and empowers the NJDOL to issue stop-work orders for “knowing and deliberate violations” when conducting wage and hour investigations. A5839 also applies to all employers and creates penalties for misclassified employees up to $250 each for initial violations and up to $1,000 each for subsequent violations. A5840 codifies joint liability between employers and temporary agencies, staffing companies, leasing firms and professional employer organizations (PEOs) for wage and hour violations. S4226 enables the NJDOL to publish on a public website employers who violate wage and hour laws by name, address and description. S4228 gives for the first time the NJDOL access to employer tax records for use in wage and hour and misclassifications investigations.
Finally, A5843 requires employers to post a new workplace notice regarding misclassification. The posting obligation became effective April 1, 2020 and the NJDOL has now finally published this required notice. It can be found here. The law also prohibits retaliation against any employee for complaining about misclassification and if found to be in violation of the law, it requires that the employer offer reinstatement. The law provides for penalties ranging from $100 to $1000, lost wages, attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.
Employers should promptly post the above workplace poster, if not already done so.