In January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law two new bills about which New Jersey employers should be aware. One creates an optional state retirement plan marketplace for small businesses, while the other directs the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) to create an online information portal to create a webpage dedicated to providing information about family leave rights and benefits.
Small Business Retirement Marketplace Act
On January 19, 2016, the New Jersey Small Business Retirement Marketplace Act (A-1341) was signed into law by Governor Christie. The act establishes a voluntary state-sponsored marketplace for small businesses to shop for retirement savings plans for their employees. A prior version of the bill, initially introduced as the New Jersey Secure Choice Savings Program Act, would have required New Jersey employers with at least 25 employees that did not already offer a retirement savings plan to provide their workers with access to a portable retirement savings program administered by the state. Employers that failed to enroll eligible employees would have been subject to fines. Governor Christie conditionally vetoed that bill and instead proposed a marketplace for retirement savings plans that is entirely optional for both employers and employees. Under the final law, employers are not required to offer retirement plans, but can choose among several options through the marketplace. Use of the marketplace is limited to employers with fewer than 100 employees.
NJDOL Webpage Dedicated to Employee Leave Laws
On January 19, 2016, Governor Christie signed into law S3129, which requires the NJDOL to create and maintain a webpage containing information regarding state and federal family leave rights and benefits. The new law requires that the webpage include information concerning the various New Jersey and federal leave and benefit laws, including the New Jersey Family Leave Act, the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, the New Jersey Family Leave Insurance Law, and the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law. The latter two provide monetary benefits to employees on leave, but not job-protected leave.