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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Compliance Essentials for Employers in New Jersey

 

A large part of running a business is the adherence to state and federal laws and employer regulations. These laws ensure that your employees are given fair treatment both in the workplace and during the hiring process, as well as during their time off work. Every US state has its own set of rules and regulations while also following some standard federal laws as well.

In New Jersey, workers' rights are given significant consideration by the local government. Therefore, ensuring you are compliant with these laws will help cover you and your business should legal action ever be on the cards.

 

Recruitment and Regulations

During the hiring process, there are a few things that you need to consider before you accept or reject a candidate. First, unless your business is exempt from this, if you have more than 15 employees on your payroll, you're actually not allowed to ask about a candidate's criminal background during their application process.

This law, known as Ban the Box, came into effect in 2015 under President Obama. Its purpose is to provide those with a criminal history a better chance at reformation without being discriminated against. You're also not allowed to ask candidates about their previous salaries, which is an attempt to prevent employers from offering candidates much less than they'd expect from the role they're applying for, and instead offer them what they deserve.

Health and Safety

One of the most critical considerations for legislation is that of health and safety in the workplace. Every business is expected to comply with regulations that keep employees safe, and having workers' compensation in NJ is actually required. Offering compensation to your employees should they get injured while in the workplace is ethical and the law. Organizations such as The Hartford can help with this and provide you with what you need.

As a responsible business owner, your focus should always be on keeping your employees safe, no matter what. These regulations are really in place to encourage businesses to consider safety protocols on their premises, whether it's an office space or a warehouse.

 

Paid and Unpaid Leave

As an employer, it is essential to ensure your team has access to the right amount of time off, be it vacation time, maternity leave, or paid sick leave. If you have over 30 employees, you are required by law to allow people at most 12 weeks of unpaid but protected leave within two years.

This allows parents to care for and bond with their new child or for people to care for ill family members, for example. If an employee were to become ill, you are expected to allow them 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they have worked for you.

 

Discrimination Laws

These regulations are intended to prevent employers from hiring someone based on their sex, race or color, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Therefore, it's essential to do your research on employment discrimination. In addition, having the assistance of a legal representative who specializes in workplace legislation, especially within the state of New Jersey, will be extremely useful.

Federal law protects workers from this discrimination, whether as an employee or a candidate, and businesses that fail to adhere to these rules can face legal action. Be vigilant with protecting your employees from these challenges.

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