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Uncategorized Monday, September 18, 2023

Recently, Governor Murphy signed amendments to the NJ Unemployment Compensation Law. These amendments are effective July 31, 2023, and are intended to streamline the administration of unemployment insurance benefits by the New Jersey Department of Labor (“NJDOL”) Division of Unemployment Insurance (the “Division”).

New Employer Requirement – BC-10 Form – Employers Must Provide The BC-10 Form to Each Departing Employee at the Time of Separation.

As of July 31, 2023, all employers participating in NJ Unemployment must the BC-10 form to any employee who separates from work for any reason, regardless of whether the employee quits or is fired or laid off, and regardless of whether the separation is permanent, temporary, or for an indefinite period. Employers are not required to send the completed BC-10 form to the Division.  The only information from the BC-10 form that employers must provide to the Division is the employee’s date of separation.

Notably, if an employer fails to provide the BC-10 form to a separating employee, the employee still is responsible for reporting to file an unemployment claim.   If an employer willfully violates the regulation, it may be liable for fines.

New NJDOL Division of Unemployment Insurance Form

Along with the BC-10 form, the NJDOL is in the process of creating a new “form” that employers will need to submit to the Division. The new “form” will include information to assist the Division in making determinations regarding benefits to be paid. Employers need not worry about this new form until the NJDOL finishes creating the form and makes it available to employers.

Electronic Communication with the NJDOL

The amendments also require employers to conduct all communications with the Division electronically. Accounts can be created on the NJDOL website. If you previously had an online account, you do not need to set up a new account.  Employers who use a Professional Employer Organization (“PEO”), do not need to create an account as the PEO is required to do it instead.

Other Changes

The amendments also modified several deadlines that relate to the unemployment process:

  • The Division will notify the employer of any missing separation information within seven (7) days of an employee filing an unemployment insurance claim or the employer’s submission of the required information (whichever occurs first), and the employer will have seven (7) days to respond.
  • The Division will make an initial benefits determination within three (3) weeks of receiving a separated employee’s claim.
  • Claimants will have twenty-one (21) days to appeal an initial Division determination, but employers will still only have seven (7) days from the confirmed receipt of a determination to appeal.

Enhanced Penalties for Non-Compliance

Employers may now be subject to increased penalties for failure to provide the Division with reports or for knowingly making a false statement.  Penalties can now be assessed as a $500 fine or 25% of the amount of unemployment benefits.  Further, each day of non-compliance may be considered an additional violation.

What’s Next?

Employers should establish policies and procedures to ensure they will be able to comply with the above requirements.

If you are an employer and need any help navigating the changes to the Unemployment Compensation Law or with any other employment laws, contact any member of the Weiner Law Group Employment Law Team.