New Requirements Governing Employee Separation in New Jersey

The New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act has long required employers to provide instructions to their separated employees for filing unemployment benefits using a form widely known as the BC-10. Form BC-10 provides a separated employee with information needed to file for unemployment benefits, such as the legal name of the employer, its identification number, and address, the date of separation of the employee, and information pertaining to whether the separation is of a temporary or permanent nature.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy recently signed new legislation requiring employers to do more than simply hand over a Form BC-10 to their employees. Beginning on July 31 of last year, employers must satisfy some additional requirements.

For instance, employers are now required to submit a Form BC-10 to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (the “NJDOL”) at the same time they provide the form to their departing employee.

Separated employees must be given a Form BC-10 regardless of the reason for their departure. Therefore, employees who quit, are fired or are laid off must all be provided with Form BC-10s.
Additionally, the new legislation requires the Department of Labor to respond to initial benefits determinations within three (3) weeks of receipt of a claim. Thereafter, the claimant has twenty-one (21) days to appeal an initial determination. Employers have the shortest period of time, a total of seven (7) days, to appeal the Department’s determinations.

The new legislation also reduces the time employers have to respond to requests for missing information from the Department of Labor from ten (10) days to seven (7) days.

Employers must provide all forms to the Department of Labor in electronic format. If they have not already done so, employers should open an account on the Department of Labor’s website to submit responses to department requests.

Finally, penalties have also increased for employers who fail to issue a Form BC-10 or provide false information, these fines include a $500 per day fine or 25% of the amount of unemployment benefits whichever is greater.

Employers should be adapting their human resources practices and procedures to comply with these additional requirements and shortened timeframes and should consult with their attorneys for further assistance with compliance.