NJ State Labor Laws
Host families are considered household employers, and homepairs their household employers (not independent contractors). Read our guide on Nanny Taxes to understand what this means in terms of your tax requirements.
STATE LABOR LAW REQUIREMENTS
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides the framework for federal and state wage and hour laws (which household employees such as homepairs are protected by). New Jersey can supplement the federal law with additional state and municipal labor law – the NJ.gov website is the definitive resource for understanding state labor laws in New Jersey.
The minimum wage for New Jersey is $10.30 per hour (as of Jan 1st 2020).
Household employees are protected by overtime laws set by the FLSA and some additional laws set by New Jersey. In New Jersey, live-in employees are not exempt from overtime laws and should be paid at least 1.5 times (time and a half) for all hours worked over 40 in a work week. Please discuss and agree if overtime will be paid, and at what rate, when you come to building your agreement.
On call / Sleep time
Household employers do not need to count normal sleeping hours as hours worked for live-in employees, even if they are required to be ‘on-call’ during that time. The FLSA gives additional guidance on this topic:
- If live-in employees receive at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep during ‘on call’ time, those hours are exempt as hours worked (the ‘8 hour sleep exemption’)
- Anytime a live-in employee’s sleep is interrupted whilst on-call, that time is classified as hours worked and must be paid as normal
- If a live-in employee receives less than 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, all 8 hours must be classified as hours worked and be paid
- Minimum Wage and Overtime rules apply as normal
- Employers should include this ‘8 hour sleep exemption’ rule in their written agreement with the employee
Paid Sick Leave
New Jersey household employers are required to provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave each year which can be offered upfront, or accrued at 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Other details to be aware of are:
- Unused sick time does not have to be paid out at termination.
- Employers can restrict usage of sick leave until after 120 days of employment
Note: Employers in Bloomfield, East Orange, Elizabeth, Irvington, Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark, Passaic, Paterson and Trenton can restrict sick time usage until after 90 days of employment. Employers in Plainfield can restrict usage until after 100 days of employment.
- Employers must display and provide a notice to employees regarding their sick time rights. This notice can be found here.
- If you live in one of the following cities, you have additional requirements:
Jersey City Employers should display two required posters in the workplace. For your convenience, we have included the posters here.
Morristown You are required to provide your employee with written notice of the details of their sick leave. For your convenience, we have included the notice here.
Plainfield Employers must give written notice upon hiring about sick leave. For your convenience, we have included the notice here.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Household employers must have a Workers Compensation Insurance policy (WCI), which assists with medical expenses and lost wages if an employee has a work-related injury or illness. It also provides protection to the employer since workers who accept benefits generally forfeit their right to sue the employer regardless of fault.
You can shop around for household employer WCI at any NJ state-licensed insurance broker.
The information is not intended to be providing legal or tax advice, and should not be relied upon without the advice and guidance of your professional tax or legal advisor.
Information last updated 3/24/2019