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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

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  • 30 Sep 2019 12:33 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    The staffing industry is battling a widespread challenge when it comes to employee recruiting and retention. As unemployment rates decrease (nearing record lows) and job seekers have multiple options for employment, the competition for top talent is higher than ever. In today’s scarce labor market, staffing companies are trying to attract talent away from competitors while also retaining the best and brightest.

    There’s the obvious method of offering higher pay, but outside of that, what else can your staffing company do to gain an edge over the competition? Sometimes, it’s how you package and promote your benefits plan. A Glassdoor Confidence Survey found 80% of candidates choose having additional benefits over a pay raise.

    How to Put Money in Your Employees’ Pockets

    Creating a benefits package that allows for customization is essential. Seasoned, full-time professionals are likely going to have different needs than part-time or temporary employees. Identifying what employees and job candidates want in terms of benefits can be accomplished by using credible industry data and simply listening and communicating. From there, provide employees with several different voluntary benefit options.

    Voluntary benefit offerings like accident insurance, hospital indemnity, legal services, short-term disability and other individual coverages can put money in your employees’ pockets when the unexpected occurs. That money can be used towards the deductible or as cash to cover other related expenses, so your employees can focus on recovery instead of their finances and get back to work sooner.

    Best of all, voluntary benefits are often little to no cost to the employer. With a few options that employees can personalize, your plan looks richer and can be better positioned during the recruitment process to internal and temporary employees alike.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • 30 Sep 2019 12:28 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

    Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements – which fall under the umbrella category of “restrictive covenants” – seem to be constantly under fire, with certain jurisdictions even taking the drastic measure of an outright ban. By contrast, New Jersey case law has developed over decades to strike a balance between protecting the needs of employers to safeguard their legitimate corporate interests and the crippling effects on fair competition caused by overbroad and unduly-burdensome restrictions. In light of a recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision, employers should revisit their restrictive covenants to make sure that the scope is reasonable and not more restrictive than necessary to achieve their legitimate purpose.

    New Jersey is one of many states that allow its courts to “blue pencil” restrictive covenants. “Blue penciling” refers to a procedure by which a court can delete, amend or supplement offensive provisions, allowing for enforcement of the revised restrictions while avoiding the harsh penalty of striking them down entirely.

    Last Friday, the New Jersey Appellate Division took liberty to utilize its blue pencil powers in scaling back the scope of a potentially-offensive restriction. The Appellate Division’s decision offers much-needed guidance on whether an employer can prohibit a departing employee from soliciting “all clients” (without regard to whether the employee had contact with the client) or “prospective clients” of a business. The decision stems from a series of cases brought by powerhouse ADP against former salesmen who left ADP to work for competitors. This opinion comes only months after a decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals which largely validated ADP’s non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions. However, in these cases, although the Appellate Division ruled that ADP has demonstrated a “legitimate business interest” in seeking to enforce its restrictive covenant agreements with six high-performing, former sales employees, it also found that certain provisions had to be narrowed to avoid being overly broad and unduly burdensome to the employees.

    The published decision (link in footnote, above) brings needed clarity to the issue of whether an employer is permitted to restrain a departing employee from soliciting each and every client of the employer, or, as many employees often argue, only those customers with whom the employee had contact with prior to leaving. It also shed light on whether courts will accept restrictions as to potential clients of a business.

    The Court ruled that the provisions of ADP’s agreements which barred the employees from soliciting all actual or prospective ADP clients for a year after leaving the company were too broad and had to be “blue-penciled,” referring to the “court’s modification or tailoring of a restrictive covenant.” The panel ruled that ADP may only prohibit its former employees from soliciting actual ADP clients for which they “had substantial dealings with while at ADP or […] knowledge of during their prior employment.” Regarding ADP’s potential clients, the court limited the restriction to only those that “a former employee gained knowledge of during his employment at ADP.”

    The Court observed that it was “satisfied [that] these blue-pencil modifications result in ‘narrowly tailored’ provisions that ‘ensure the covenant is no broader than necessary’ with respect to its duration, area and scope of prohibited activities in order to ‘protect the employer’s interests.’” The appellate panel found that the prohibition against soliciting “all of ADP’s 620,000 existing clients” was unreasonable: “That restrictive language is untenable as an ADP employee could not possibly know all of ADP’s actual clients.”

    Likewise, the panel struck down the provision barring the former employees from soliciting prospective clients that “ADP ‘reasonably expects’ to provide business to within the two-year period following the employee’s departure.” The panel concluded that, “[d]ue to the breadth of ADP’s worldwide reach, any company defendants approach might be a potential ‘prospective’ ADP client” and that the panel “cannot envision any practical manner in which defendants could conduct business without offending this provision.”

    In light of this decision, employers should review their restrictive covenants to determine whether they are reasonable and not overly restrictive. If there is reason to question enforceability, competent New Jersey employment counsel can help tailor the restrictions to avoid judicial scrutiny in the future.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

    *Kevin J. O'Connor, Esq. is a shareholder with Peckar & Abramson, PC, a national law firm, and focuses his practice on construction and commercial litigation, EPL, D&O and class action defense. He is resident at its River Edge, NJ office. The views expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of P&A.


  • 30 Sep 2019 12:26 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Urbach & Avraham, CPA's LLP

    Collision with the DOL

    A national trucking company operating in NJ had to deliver more than $1 million to the NJ Dept. of Labor after allegedly misclassifying employee drivers as independent contractors for more than a decade.

    The Package Deal

    Eagle Intermodal Inc. agreed to pay $1.25 million in back unemployment and disability contributions, and pledged to come into compliance with the law, the NJ DOL announced on September 12, 2019.

    The Dispute began in 2006 when an audit flagged the alleged misclassification, which meant the company had not paid employer payroll contributions, including NJ Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance. A special exemption does exist for services performed by certain operators of large trucks. The DOL concluded that Eagle’s operations didn’t qualify for it; and that the company also failed to establish that the drivers were independent contractors, rather than employees, per NJ’s ABC Test:

    A. The worker’s performance is not under the control or direction of the firm, and

    B. The services performed are outside of the usual course of the business, and

    C. The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

    Gov. Phil Murphy has declared a crackdown on employee misclassification, with the NJDOL required to audit 1% of active NJ businesses. Murphy’s Task Force on Employee Misclassification says these audits have uncovered “tens of millions of dollars in employee-related taxes not paid to the state.” The task force report identified trucking, transportation, delivery services, construction, janitorial services, home care, and other labor-intensive, low-wage sectors as “industries where misclassification is widespread.”

    The Safer Road

    Firms who want to avoid fines and penalties should consult with their legal and accounting advisors. Companies should consider issues like employee classification and overtime, and work with their advisors to keep up with the latest developments in state and federal wage and hour regulations.


    BY: Pamela Avraham, CPA, Partner, Urbach & Avraham, CPAs which provides accounting and tax services to staffing agencies. Firm may be reached at 732-777-1158 or pma@ua-cpas.com. Firm website is www.ua-cpas.com

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • 30 Sep 2019 12:23 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peapack-Gladstone Bank

    The Peapack-Gladstone team is pleased to present its 2Q19 quarterly human capital solutions industry update from our Senior Advisor, Jim Janesky, who oversees client coverage and leads the vertical.

    Through this industry update, we will share with you our impressions on the market, track the leading macroeconomic indicators, report relevant transactions, public market valuations and highlight current trends. 

    Click here to download the quarterly report.


  • 30 Sep 2019 12:09 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    Is it looming? Or is it already here? It’s anyone’s guess, but indicators are pointing to a recession within the next year or so. Major banks are predicting and prepping. Growth has slowed, but not shrunk.

    During a recession, competition is fierce, talent is scarce and scared to move, and businesses tighten their belts to survive.

    So, does that leave you in a lurch? Not too long ago, I found a quote from leadership guru, John Maxwell. He said.

    “The pessimist complains about the wind.

    The optimist expects it to change.

    The leader adjusts the sails.”

    Is there a storm approaching? Yes. Do we know how big it will be? No. But we need to plan for a big one and will be pleasantly surprised if it’s not.

    It’s time to take stock, figure where you sit (both metaphorically and in business positioning) and adjust the sails.

    Here Are Three Things You Should NOT Do When a Storm Approaches

    1. Ignore It

    A breaking wave can hit a boat with between 250 and 6,000 pounds per square foot! Extremely powerful and highly destructive! The recession of 2008 killed off more than 170,000 small businesses, and some estimates put that number over 200,000.

    2. Try to Outrun It

    Good luck with that. The average storm at sea moves about 30-40 miles per hour. The average sailboat cruises from 6-8 knots, which is an average cruising speed of 7-9 miles per hour. You can’t outrun the storm, but you can fnd the right path through it. The recession storm is coming. You need to adjust your sails and plot the right course through it.

    3. Jump Ship

    You can’t swim as fast as the boat or the storm. Stay in the boat.

    So, what are three things you CAN do?

    1. Batten Down the Hatches

    On a boat, all hatches are sealed when a storm approaches, to minimize leaks and avoid taking on water. This is a great metaphor for your marketing funnel and processes. You are investing time, money and other resources on your website, job ads, internal recruiting process, ATS and more. It’s time to examine your processes, identify where you are wasting resources, losing potential leads or applicants, and then plug them.

    2. Adjust Your Sails

    You may not use all your sails during a storm (and probably shouldn’t). Many boats utilize a storm sail that is smaller but provides just the right amount of forward momentum to give you rudder control.  Examine what parts of your business are your most profitable. Lean on them but consider ways to diversify your business portfolio to help you keep moving and have some control over the direction of your business during the storm.

    3. Consider Your Boat’s Design

    Each boat handles differently in a storm. Your business’s core values, differentiators, and branding are going to assist in your business’s survival and recovery after a storm, all in a way that is unique to your company. These are the structure of WHO you are as a company. It’s time to examine, refine and solidify your key differentiators, positioning, value proposition and tie it all back to your core story. If you look like your competition, you won’t stand out, brand loyalty disappears, and you lose money because of consumer apathy.

    Is the Storm Coming?

    Preparation is key. Having a plan before the storm is the best course of action. Having the right digital presence keeps you from disappearing from your customers view. Tightening your budgeting “belt” is smart, but it should be strategic and where waste occurs. The companies that survived the last recession invested strategically before the storm, kept their speed and course during the storm, were able to recover, and thrived afterward.

    Haley Marketing Group rode out the last recession and helped many recruiting and staffing companies steer through it with the assistance of a strategic marketing plan, thoughtful consultation,

    and effective implementation. For specific tactics and strategies to align your market, check out our free educational materials or reach out to our team for an analysis of your current marketing strategy and suggestions on how to shore it up.

    Smooth sailing!

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.


  • 28 Aug 2019 2:32 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Urbach & Avraham, CPA's LLP

    Before you get involved with other things this late summer, schedule a mid-year checkup. Not a height/weight/blood pressure checkup, but rather an income statement/balance sheet/cash flow checkup — a review of your business’s financial operating fundamentals.

    If you review your vital financial information only at year-end, you may not know there’s a problem until it’s too late. The more often you take your company’s “pulse,” the sooner you’ll be able to notice — and react to — changes in your business situation.

    Check Your Vital Signs

    Start with the operating fundamentals. What’s the status of accounts payable? When’s the last time you ran an aging report for accounts receivable? How long are your A/R outstanding? What is your profit margin?

    These numbers are critical to running your business. You can’t make accurate decisions if your figures are old. By keeping track of key financial ratios, you can more readily spot trends that should be addressed sooner rather than later. An appropriate attorney should verify that the language of your A/R agreements and invoices protects you in case of slow or non-payers.

    Monitor Your Budget

    Next, check your spending. If overspending is a problem, creating a comprehensive budget that establishes realistic guidelines is an effective remedy. Make sure you have a budgeted amount for every expense on your operating statement. Then compare actual spending to budgeted amounts on a regular basis.

    Certain expenses should be reviewed by a specialist to reduce expenses and verify adequate services. For example, business insurance should be reviewed with an insurance agent, bank and credit card charges with your banker, telephone expense with a communications expert.

    Reduce Your Debt

    Avoid the temptation to take out your profits in good years. Instead, consider reinvesting some of those earnings in the business. Using retained earnings instead of debt to capitalize your business saves money — and provides a safety net to help you through periods of slower sales or unexpected expenses. Review your cash flow and investments with your investment adviser. A healthy debt-to-equity ratio will also look great when it’s time to borrow money or sell your business.

    See a Specialist

    Now is the time to consult with your financial advisors to build and maintain a healthy business. We work with many competent insurance agents, investment advisers and attorneys who can review your operations. Let us know how we can help you.

    BY: Pamela Avraham, CPA, Partner, Urbach & Avraham, CPAs which provides accounting and tax services to staffing agencies. Pamela may be reached at pma@ua-cpas.com or

    732-777-1158. Firm website is www.ua-cpas.com

    Click here to download the article in Word format.


  • 26 Aug 2019 10:19 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Haley Marketing

    Here’s the quick two-part answer:

    • If you are looking to capture attention and build something that will engage well with social audiences, stick to 30 seconds or less.
    • If you want to turn that attention into action or share your industry expertise, anywhere from one to three minutes will work, so long as your content compels viewers to watch as much of the video as possible.

    Now for the longer, fun explanation!

    Finding the ideal social media video length is a bit of a moving target. Based on what social media platform you’re posting video to, you could get as many as five different ranges for ideal social video length. The answers change on a yearly basis too, as social platforms change news feed algorithms and formats.

    Maybe your staffing firm has a marketing coordinator or an intern that handles your marketing strategy, including video.  Maybe you trust a marketing agency dedicated to the staffing industry that runs an award-winning social media program. If you want to make a great social video for your staffing firm, where do you begin?

    Start With the End in Mind for Social Video

    As with everything in marketing, you need to have your goal identified and clarified before you start coming up with concepts. Social video is no different! The best way to start is to think about where your target audience is at in your marketing funnel.

    If you are looking to attract new candidates or clients who haven’t established a previous relationship with your staffing company, they probably won’t spend much time watching your social video. Keep video content for this audience between 15 and 45 seconds, and make sure the video concisely conveys the most important information and visuals.

    For candidates and clients who know your staffing company and are curious to learn more through social video, a more engaging piece of video content could be produced in the range of 60-120 seconds. A medium-length social video is a great way to give blog content new life. This would also be an ideal length for videos to show off a new office location or do a Q&A with one of your recruiters! Videos like these can turn your target audience’s attention into action.

    Many studies show that engagement with social video declines sharply after the two-minute mark. But what happens past that point? If you give people compelling content and they stay with your video past three, four or even five minutes, you can keep their attention for a long time.

    If you have clearly defined industry expertise on a given topic and you want to share that (anyone else thinking of webinars?), give viewers a hard sell in your first minute to get them to watch and give them a long-form video. This could be anywhere from three to 60 minutes depending on how much you want to share.

    Craft a Social Video Plan

    Now that you know what social video length works best for your target audience, it’s time to start crafting your content! It’s important to know the following when creating social video:

    • The content you want included in the social video
    • The strategy for distribution of your video across social media platforms

    Say your staffing company is opening a new office location and wants to use social video to showcase the location and spread the word. It certainly doesn’t have to be an episode of Cribs, but you can put together a really nice set of videos at different lengths.

    Step 1: Start with a 15-second video walking up to the office, with some brief text or audio stating the address of the location. The key here is to tease the audience and pique their interest to visit the office, while keeping only the most pertinent information in the video. Find the day and time your followers are most active on social media and add some paid promotion behind your post. Cast a wide net and maximize distribution of easily consumable content to get attention for your company’s announcement!

    Step 2: After building buzz with your first post, follow up in the ensuing hours with a 60-second video of a company leader inviting guests to the new office and discussing the benefits the new location provides. After attracting the attention of your audience, the key to this next video is to engage them with a more personal message that shows why you want them to visit.

    Step 3: Those viewers that are highly engaged after seeing the new building and hearing from your company’s leader might want to see more of the new building before visiting. The most engaged members of your new social video audience would want to see a walk through of the new building, experiencing what it would be like to walk through your doors! Keep the walk through between three and five minutes, and delight viewers with a rich social video experience.

    Social video can be the basis for an incredibly compelling content strategy. What do you think would create more buzz for your new location: the set of three videos above, or a blog post on your website?

    Ready to Start Making Social Video?

    Once you know your target audience, develop a strategy for the content you want to make, and know how to distribute your social videos, you’re ready to get started!

    Most smartphones today have tremendous video quality, giving you the ability to shoot and upload right to social media.  Odds are you already have the tools to start making great videos for social media today.

    Getting more engagement on social media is at the top of many marketers’ wish lists. Creating attention-grabbing social video is one way to achieve that goal! If you’re ready to learn more about Haley Marketing Group’s unique approach to social media in the staffing industry, contact one of our marketing educators today to talk about our Video Marketing or Social Pro products.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • 21 Aug 2019 1:47 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    Love it or hate it, marketing is one of the core functions of every staffing and recruitment firm but it’s often the department with the least amount of dedicated resources.

    When you’re short on budget, staff or resources, your options for expensive marketing tools are thin. The good news? There are quite a bit of awesome and free marketing tools.

    Here’s our list of six powerful (and free) recruitment marketing tools that you can start using today to help your business grow.

    1.Google Analytics– This website analytics power tool is one of your best friends in recruitment marketing. The best part? It’s 100 percent free and even offers complimentary training programs. If you haven’t already, be sure to download Google Analytics and dive into the beginner’s course to get the basics down.

    While we could easily write an entire blog series on Google Analytics and the many recruitment marketing ideas it offers, let’s take a gander at three questions that Google Analytics can help you answer with data.

    Q1: Which of your social media platforms are driving the most traffic?

    To determine this, all you need to do is go to your Master View of your Analytics dashboard, select Acquisition, then Social and finally Network Referrals. In the example below, we can see that YouTube was easily the highest driver of web traffic. Knowing that helps understand where you should allocate the most of your social recruiting and which channels to avoid.

    Q2: Which of your pages (excluding the homepage) is driving the most candidates to your website?

    For this example, we’re going to look at the Behavior tab and under Site Content, look at the Landing Pages section. This will show you where your traffic is “landing” or entering your website for the first time. In the Google Test Account, we can see that the redesign/apparel page drives the most traffic. Using this information, you can tell what source(s) brings traffic to your website and what pages don’t, helping laser-in on which pages to spend the most time optimizing.

    Q3: In terms of geography, what US state brings in the most users?

    Select the Audience tab and go under Geo. Drilling down even further, select location. A map will appear of the world, click United States (or whatever country you’re recruiting in) and then look at which state has the most users. In this example, California has the most. If you click California, you can zoom in further to discover which cities bring in users. Having this geographic knowledge allows you to run more targeted ad campaigns.

    2. Google trends– Surprise! Another Google tool. This time we’re looking at Google Trends, which analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. In a nutshell, Google Trends helps recruiters (among many things) determine:

    What job titles are higher searched (copywriter vs content specialist)

    Which states have a higher concentration of job search (are people more interested in copywriter jobs in Georgia vs Minnesota)

    In this example, let’s say you’re a multi-branch professional staffing firm that’s looking to fill a copywriter position. Using Google Trends, you want to find out what title resonates better with candidates. Will job seekers search for “copywriter jobs” or content specialist jobs”? After entering the comparison, you discover that copywriter was the clear winner. Having this information makes it easy to post jobs with terms job hunters are actually using.

    In the next example, let’s say you’re looking to fill a remote copywriter job. Using data from the previous example, you know that the job title, “copywriter” is more searched but now you want to take it a step further and see which state has the highest number of people searching for copywriter jobs. In Google Trends, you enter the query, “copywriter jobs.” With one quick search, you notice most searches occur in New York, which empowers you to have a more targeted search area. While this example is very basic, exploring around with Google Trends will help uncover meaningful marketing data – all for free!

    3. Keywords Everywhere – Search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever considering the average person conducts 3-4 Google searches every day. Determining what keywords your candidates are searching for can help optimize your content, which is where Keywords Everywhere comes in handy. For those unfamiliar, Keyworks Everywhere is a free Chrome extension that automatically populates keyword research anytime you search in Google. While limiting, this tool can help uncover related keywords to help boost your SEO efforts.

    In the example below, we simply Googled, “copywriter jobs” and if you look to the right side of the screenshot, you’ll notice a detailed list of related keywords complete with information on search volume and difficulty to rank for (Comp).

    4. Drift– Recruitment chatbots are a phenomenal way to connect with candidates, streamline the recruiting process and drive engagement on your website. Drift is a chatbot tool that’s easy to install (just a copy and paste of code to your website) and allows you to interact with website visitors – all in real time. The best part is that you can start Drift for free

    5. CanvaCanva is a fantastic free design tool that’s super easy to use and even better for making quick advertisements. Best part? You don’t need graphic design experience to make masterfully crafted ads. The example below literally took 45 seconds to create a professional graphic for social media that highlights a job opening. Canva Social Image Example 6. Facebook Insights – This free tool is something you probably already have (assuming you have a business Facebook account). Insights is simply a platform where you can monitor your competitor’s social presence, create Facebook ads, and get basic analytics on your social posts. It’s easy to use and helps track ROI on social advertising.

    6. Facebook Insights - All of these free recruitment marketing tools can be used individually or collectively for powerful marketing results. If you’re familiar with Avengers Endgame or Infinity war, think of these marketing tools as infinity stones. Once you’ve collected them all, you’re virtually invincible in your marketing efforts. Just be sure to measure ROI on your recruitment marketing so you can tell what’s working and what’s not.

    If you need more recruitment marketing ideas, check out our blog on 8 Marketing Strategies Your Staffing Firm Can’t Afford to Ignore for more ideas.

    Click here to view the article on Avionte's website.


  • 21 Aug 2019 1:41 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Two River Benefits Consultants, LLC

    Assembly bill 4134 bill creates the NJ Secure Choice Savings Program Fund -The last line of the bill states that this act shall take effect immediately. Your company is eligible, if during the previous calendar year employed 25 or more employees in the state, has been in business at least 2 years, and has not offered a qualified retirement plan under sections 401a, 401k, 403a, 403b, 408k, 408p or section 457b of IRS Code of 1986 in the preceding 2 years. Companies with 25 employees or fewer can participate voluntarily in the state program.

    This means every employer 25 lives and above is required to offer each employee an IRA and automatically enroll 3% of their pay to send to the state program. If your company has fewer than 25 employees, your company is exempt.

    The IRA State Plan administration, and New Jersey Board to oversee it is not set up yet by the state, so complying immediately is a bit of a stretch unless you have a current 401k plan and want to offer this type of program through your 401K. There are penalties for non compliance for employers who, without reasonable cause, fail to enroll employees who have not opted out of the program.

    Fines are noted as follows:

    • 1st Calendar year 2019 during which a violation occurs- a written warning from the Department
    • 2nd Calendar year 2020- A fine of $100
    • 3rd and 4th Calendar year 2021 and 2022.- A fine of $250 for each employee who was not enrolled or opted out of the enrollment.
    • 5th calendar year 2023 and beyond- A fine of $500 for each employee who was not enrolled or opted out of the enrollment

    Don’t hold your employees money if you participate. The fines get really large if you do this.

    An employee is defined as any individual 18 years or older, who lives in the state or is employed by an employer in New Jersey, and whose wages are subject to withholding. The bill provides that employees be enrolled within 24 months after the effective date of the bill- so by March 28, 2021. Employees must be enrolled within 3 months of date of hire, unless the employee opts out.

    The bill stipulates that employers and the State will not be Fiduciaries on the plans. I am not sure how they will avoid that as the fiduciary status of employees involved in retirement and IRA’s is the purview of the SEC, but that will be determined as this moves along.

    These type laws are coming in many States. California has a similar program to New Jersey called Calsavers. Other States exploring these programs or having passed laws are Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and others. The Federal government has bills pending currently called Savings for the future act by Democrats, and the Secure act of 2019 by Republicans. Be assured that this is not going away any time soon for employers, as both Republicans and democrats support these bills. The government is trying to push away this liability from themselves as many employees do not save for retirement, and the government cannot afford to pay for the liability that awaits them if Americans do not save more money moving forward.

    It will become complicated for employers as the Federal government is expected to pass some type of new law in 2019. Make sure you have someone who understands how your staffing company works. Two River Benefits can help you with the administration of these plans. We are happy to help all Staffing companies with the enrollment issues, as we understand automatic enrollments.


  • 21 Aug 2019 8:59 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

    Written by Kevin J. O'Connor and Shannon Azzaro

    Employers in New York have, for years, dealt with a comprehensive wage theft law. Across the Hudson, New Jersey has now adopted what looks to be the most comprehensive wage theft law in the entire country. Employers are well advised to act quickly to ensure their pay practices are defensible to eliminate or reduce risk. Human resources professionals and managers should be trained on the anti-retaliation provisions of this new law to avoid missteps.

    Under New Jersey’s Wage Theft Act (the “Act”), the Legislature has now permitted treble damages and criminal penalties for non-payment of wages to New Jersey employees. Additionally, the new law allows for a legal presumption of retaliation for any adverse employment action that occurs for months after an employee complains about their wages. The presumption is rebuttable, but to do so the employer must come forward with clear and convincing evidence. The law further extends the statute of limitations to six years and allows for reinstatement of employees.

    Treble Damages and a New Six Year Statute of Limitations

    The Act allows for an employee who prevails in an action against an employer for unpaid wages to recover the wages owed plus liquidated damages in an additional amount equal to up to 200 percent, plus reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees.

    Moreover, the Act extends the statute of limitations from two years to six years (three years beyond that which is permitted under the Fair Labor Standards Act).

    Anti-Retaliation Protections in the Act

    The Act serves to give a cause of action to an employee who is discharged or otherwise subjected to an “adverse employment action” in retaliation for making a wage theft claim. Employers are required to offer reinstatement of an aggrieved employee or take other action needed to remediate the retaliation. Significantly, the Act allows for a rebuttable presumption that the adverse employment action is tied to a complaint about wages where the event occurs within ninety days of the employee filing a complaint with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development or bringing a claim or action for violation of wage payment laws. The presumption can only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence that the adverse action was taken for other non-retaliatory reasons. In essence, employees who make complaints about their wages are relatively insulated from termination.

    Criminal Penalties

    The Act contains expansive provisions criminalizing the failure to pay wages. Employers who knowingly fail to pay an employee the full amount of wages agreed to or required by law, or who retaliate against an employee for making an internal or external complaint, participating in a proceeding relating to wage payment laws, or because the employee has informed another employee about wage and hour rights under state law, violate the Act. The penalties could range as follows:

    • First Violation – the employer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and faces a fine of $500 to $1000, imprisonment of 10 to 100 days, or both;
    • Second Violation – the employer is guilty of a disorderly persons offense and faces a fine of $1000 to $2000, imprisonment of 10 to 100 days, or both; and
    • Third and Subsequent Violations – the employer is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and faces a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 imprisonment of up to 18 months, or both.

    Under the Act, an employer’s failure to pay compensation as agreed within thirty days of the date due is a disorderly persons offense and carries a $500 fine and 20 percent penalty. Subsequent offenses carry penalties of $1000 plus 20 percent of wages owed. Effective November 1, 2019, employers who have been convicted of violating the law on two or more occasions are guilty of the crime of a “pattern of wage nonpayment” which is a third-degree offense.

    It's a whole new era in New Jersey for employers. Employers must be ready for an increase in wage and hour claims, and be cautious whenever disciplining employees to be sure those employees have not made any recent complaints of wage and hour violations. Employers would be well advised to carefully audit and review their compensation, timekeeping, and wage and hour classification policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the myriad laws and regulations that can trip up even the most cautious employer.

    *Kevin J. O'Connor, Esq. is a shareholder with Peckar & Abramson, PC, a national law firm, and focuses his practice on construction and commercial litigation, EPL, D&O and class action defense. He is resident at its River Edge, NJ office. Shannon Azzaro is an associate resident in P&A’s New Jersey office with a practice focus on employment and commercial disputes.

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