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Now that 2014 has come to a close, NFC wants to make sure that your business is prepared to hit the ground running in 2015. Below is a "To-Do" list of the TOP 10 PRIORITIES employers should focus on to prepare effectively for the New Year.


Please Email or Call Us at 973.665.9100

should you need any assistance in  

preparing your business for 2015.

1 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Alert: Prepare for Employer Reporting 
Carefully review draft ACA forms and instructions for reporting requirements which are effective for the 2015 Plan Year and are due in early 2016. There are two reporting requirements that must be satisfied including a separate form for each employee detailing that employee's information.  We recommend that all large employers subject to the ACA's Employer Mandate, or employers that self-insure their medical plan, review these draft forms to make sure they will be able to satisfy these requirements. Significant penalties ($200 per employee) apply.

CLICK HERE for details on the ACA reporting requirements and links to the IRS draft forms.

 2 Review Policies and Practices Related to Pregnant Workers

  • New Guidance from the EEOC: New enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") contains a comprehensive view of the EEOC's position on the application and interpretation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA") and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") to pregnant workers.  CLICK HERE for details on the EEOC's new guidance. 


  • NJ's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ("PWFA"): New Jersey has recently amended the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ("NJLAD") to expand protections for pregnant employees. The PWFA prohibits discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. This amendment to the NJLAD explicitly identifies pregnancy as its own protected class. CLICK HERE for details on the PWFA amendment.
3 Be Aware of Current Sick Leave Legislation in Your Municipality  
New sick leave laws were recently enacted in New York City and certain New Jersey municipalities.
  • CLICK HERE for NFC's e-alert listing the NJ municipalities that recently enacted new sick leave laws.
  • CLICK HERE for details on the New York City Earned Sick Time Act.

Employers in these municipalities should review their sick time policies and employee handbooks to ensure that they are updated to comply with new sick leave legislation in their municipality. We also recommend that all NJ employers be on the lookout for similar legislation currently pending in the New Jersey state legislature. 


4 Update Your Employee Handbook

Check your employee handbook and make certain that policies for electronic communications systems, social media, anti-discrimination/harassment and wage and hour requirements are all up to date.  Ensure that your social media policy and all other policies and practices comply with the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").  Employers should also make sure to include an inclement weather policy in light of the increasing and unpredictable weather that can affect your employees' ability to commute to their workplace.


CLICK HERE if you would like to discuss updating your handbook for 2015.


5 Schedule Critical Employment Training Sessions for Q1

Plan sessions now for your managers, employees and Human Resources departments on preventing workplace harassment, managing the risks of social media in the workplace, performance management training, conducting effective internal investigations and complying with the ADA and leave laws.   


CLICK HERE to schedule training sessions now.


6 Update Your Recruiting Practices

Ensure that your offer letters, employment agreements, and any existing commission policies/agreements comply with recent state law requirements. Review your background check processes to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.    


CLICK HERE for assistance in reviewing your recruiting practices.


7 Attention NJ Employers:  Ensure Compliance with "Ban the Box" Legislation

The N.J. "Ban the Box" bill, titled "The Opportunity to Compete Act" (the "Act"), becomes effective on March 1, 2015. The Act will restrict a covered employer's ability to inquire into an applicant's criminal background. Employers should review job advertisements, applications, and hiring processes to ensure compliance with the new legislation. "Ban the box" is a growing national trend to remove employment application check-off boxes requiring candidates to reveal whether or not they have been convicted of a crime. 


 CLICK HERE for details on this new legislation.


8 New Jersey Employers: Forms and Postings You Must Use in 2015

  • NJDOL Wage and Hour Law Abstract Poster: This poster incorporates the minimum wage increase effective January 1, 2015. CLICK HERE for a link to the poster.
  • NJ Gender Equity Notice:  NJ employers with 50 or more employees ("covered employers") must conspicuously post the DOL's Gender Equity Notice in their workplace.  The notice must also be given to all new hires and existing employees, who must provide a written or electronic acknowledgement.  In addition, the DOL regulations require covered employers to distribute the notice and obtain acknowledgements of receipt on an annual basis (on or before December 31st of each year). CLICK HERE for the required notice and acknowledgement form.
  • Form Providing Instructions for Claiming Unemployment Insurance: Employers are required to complete this form and provide it to any worker who is separated either permanently or temporarily from work for any reason. CLICK HERE for the form.
9New York City Employers: Prepare for the Affordable Transit Act

Effective January 1, 2016, the Affordable Transit Act requires private New York City employers to offer full-time employees pre-tax public transportation benefits.  


CLICK HERE to read our e-alert on this topic.


10Understand the New FINRA Regulatory Notice

FINRA's new Regulatory Notice 14-40 reminds member firms that confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements "cannot be used to prohibit or restrict an individual from initiating communications directly with FINRA or other securities regulators regarding the settlement terms or underlying facts of a dispute, regardless of whether the individual has received an inquiry from such regulatory authority regarding the dispute."  CLICK HERE to review the full Regulatory Notice 14-40.  


CLICK HERE to read our e-alert on this topic.



Please Email or Call Us at 973.665.9100  

should you need any assistance in  

preparing your business for 2015.

From litigation defense and training,
to counseling, compliance and benefits advice,
NFC is here to support you with
deep expertise and cost effective solutions.


All the best for a healthy and prosperous New Year.


The NFC Team



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