Pair of New Laws Impacts NJ Workers and Employers
This episode of the “The Bottom Line” examines two high-profile NJ legislative initiatives: the Family Leave Act and an increase in the minimum wage. Tim Schuster from EisnerAmper breaks down the fine points of each and what your business needs to do to get ready.
Dave Plaskow: Hello and welcome to “The Bottom Line.” This podcast examines the everyday business and finance issues faced by closely held and private businesses. We hope to provide you with news you can use in what we like to think of as a jargon-free zone. I'm your host, Dave Plaskow, and with us as always is Tim Schuster, a manager in EisnerAmper Private Business Services Group. Today, we'll discuss with Tim a couple of legislative issues happening in Trenton that you should be aware of. Tim. Hello.
Tim Shuster: Dave, a pleasure as always.
DP: A lot happening on the state's legislative front.
TS: Wow. Yes. It's been a very interesting 2019 so far.
DP: Okay, well let's start with a biggie: the New Jersey Family Leave Act.
TS: No doubt, this is a major piece of legislation. Effective July, 2020, workers will be entitled to more time off and additional funds. The old law allowed for a limit of six weeks and weekly benefits of around $650. The new law allows up to 12 weeks of family leave and if a worker doesn't want to take all 12 weeks concurrently, they will be eligible for 56 days of paid leave in a 12-month period, as opposed to 42 days. Maximum payouts will also increase to about $860 and up to that limit workers will be entitled to receive 85% of their weekly wage, which was only about two-thirds under the old law.
DP: Okay, now doesn't the legislation expand the definition of family?
TS: Yes, it does. So, effective immediately, the definition of who is covered under the Act has expanded to include—but not limited to—siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, in-laws or anyone else related by blood or equivalent family.
DP: Perhaps most importantly for our listeners out there, what types of companies does this impact?
TS: The old threshold was for companies with 50 or more employees, those employees are guaranteed to have a job waiting for them when they returned from family leave. The threshold will be lowered to companies with 30 or more employees. That’s a very big difference from the old law. So it would be prudent for those companies to talk with their business advisers on to how this might impact their bottom line.
DP: Switching gears a little, a lot of people in the state are about to get a pay raise, aren’t they?
TS: Yes, about a million people, the governor signed legislation raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. However, this will be implemented gradually over a six-year phase-in period.
DP: I understand there are some exceptions here.
TS: Yes, there are. Restaurants and other workers that received gratuities will see their minimum wages increased to $5.13/hour by 2024. Small business workers and seasonal employees will realize a $15 per-hour wage by 2026. And farm workers, because we are the Garden State after all, will make $12.50/hour by 2024, which will be one of the highest hourly farm wages in the nation.
TS: Very much so. Again, it pays to talk to your business advisor how this might impact your business.
DP:That is what's happening in Trenton today as of February 27, 2019. Why don't we take a look back in time and give us one of your New Jersey Historical Society fun facts.
TS: Absolutely. I want to keep this Trenton theme. Let's go back to the Revolutionary War. One of the major turning points of the Revolution War was the battle of Trenton, the infamous crossing of the Delaware River. Everyone has seen the famous picture of Washington crossing the river and you can thank this small battle for turning the tide of the war.
DP:Hmm. I know that they do a reenactment every Christmas morning in Trenton. I've always wanted to do that.
TS: I honestly, I highly recommend it. It is awesome. If you get a chance, go check it out.
DP:Thanks Tim for this valuable information.
TS: My pleasure.
DP:And thank you for listening to The Bottom Line part of the EisnerAmper podcast series. If you have any questions or there's a topic you'd like us to cover, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Eisneramper.com for more information on this and a host of other topics. And join us for our next EisnerAmper podcast when we get down to business.
The Bottom Line looks at how you can use social media to grow your business and examine the different communication platforms available including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You really need to develop website content and push it on social media platforms.
In this episode of The Bottom Line, EisnerAmper Private Business Manager Tim Schuster discusses developing a quarterly planning calendar, including budget, tax planning and speaking with your trusted advisor. Review these concepts monthly from an accounting perspective.
In the wake of the government shutdown, Tim Schuster offers tips on creating an emergency fund. To avoid living paycheck to paycheck, Tim suggests putting money into a separate savings account, as well as a portion of any windfalls. Emergency funds should include medical expenses.
Tim Schuster from EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group talks about the family issues and financial burdens for members of the sandwich generation - those individuals who are responsible for raising their children as well as caring for aging parents.
As New Jersey initiates paid employee sick leave The Bottom Line examines the requirements for business owners. Some reasons for which employees can use sick leave include an employee's own personal medical treatment or legal services, or that of a family member.
EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group Manager discusses the current unemployment rate and the booming economy despite current trade tariffs. To help attract employees, businesses are offering incentives such as assisting with student loans to attract millennials.
EisnerAmper’s Private Business Services Group partner discusses estate planning and the need to have a will - from an online provider or an estate planning professional - to help your heirs understand your estate asset wishes and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act estate tax thresholds.
The Bottom Line looks at some of the common IRS scams out there and what you should do if you fall victim to one of these scammers, including email and personal data hacks, ID theft and fraudulent returns. Contact your accountant if you think you’re a victim of a scam
The landmark Supreme Court decision in the Wayfair case on e-commerce taxation allows states to collect sales tax on e-commerce companies, even without brick and mortar locations in that state, affecting all e-commerce companies such as Amazon. Accountant guidance is suggested.
This podcast discusses the New Jersey Department of Labor and the employee or independent contractor (freelance work) classification under new Tax Cuts. A DOL audit might look at your Facebook and LinkedIn, and can also change your employee or contractor classification.
This episode of The Bottom Line looks at New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s inaugural NJ budget. The discussion includes the Governor's proposed New Jersey's state tax on Uber and Airbnb, addressing tax loopholes for hedge funds and New Jersey tax's effect on the gig economy.
In this episode of The Bottom Line, Tim Schuster discusses some of the individual taxation questions bubbling up from clients in the wake of tax reform including adjusted gross income changes, private business taxation, QBI, and the importance of talking with your tax advisor.
This episode of “The Bottom Line” discusses new tax reform changes including C corp and individual taxpayer changes, NOLs, double taxation and bonus depreciation. Tim Schuster came up with a top seven list of business tax reform questions he's been receiving from clients.
In this episode of “The Bottom Line,” Tim Schuster talks about the benefits of retirement savings plans for small businesses, including SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and Solo 401(k) plans, as well as eligibility and contribution limits set for small business contributions.
Tim Schuster discusses how starting a college savings account – sooner rather than later – can help alleviate sticker shock for your child’s college education. He talks about the different state-sponsored 529 plans, what you can use the money for, the tax benefits and more.
EisnerAmper’s examines the differences between different Health Spending Accounts including HSAs, HRAs and FSAs. It is recommended you speak with your tax advisor about qualified medical expenses and pending tax reform's affect on health spending accounts.
EisnerAmper's Tim Schuster looks at several categories of SBA loans for working capital. He covers the loan approval process, SBA 504, real estate exclusions and how business advisors can help you make the most of the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan process.
EisnerAmper’s Tim Schuster tackles the issue of succession planning - Companies should have something written down for succession planning purposes as well as take into consideration estate planning, wealth management and valuation when creating their transition plan.
EisnerAmper's private business manager, Tim Schuster discusses the need for proactive disaster planning for private businesses, as well as business interruption insurance in the event that your disaster planning fails. FEMA offers online disaster planning recovery courses.
In this episode, Our private business services advisor Tim breaks down what a closely held business is, the different business formats such as LLC LLP and S Corp, and how this impacts the role of business advisors so your accountant, banker and lawyer will all be on the same page.