Employer Responsibilities

There are a few steps that you need to take when you hire an employee – for instance, you'll need to verify their eligibility to work as well as register to pay employer and payroll taxes. Learn more about how to smoothly onboard your new team.

Employee Discrimination

Once you've started interviewing candidates for your available jobs keep in mind that it is illegal to discriminate based on age, sexual orientation, marital status, religious affiliation, or race. You may not ask job applicants if they have a disability or the nature of their disability; however, you may ask questions to determine whether they are able to fulfill the job duties. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor and the Equal Employment website.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Obtain your Employer Identification Number from the IRS

Before you hire any employees you'll need to register with the US Internal Revenue Service for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). You will use this number when you report and pay taxes to the IRS and to the State of New Jersey.

IRS: Apply for an EIN

Verify your employee's eligibility to work

As an employer, you are required to verify an employee's citizenship and eligibility to work in the United States using the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (also known as the Immigration Service Form). Your employees will need to complete and sign Section I of this form on or before their first day of work, and provide you with documentation to verify their identity and employment authorization in order for you to complete Section II. This form does not need to be mailed in, but you'll need to be prepared to show it upon request. Keep all of your employees' I-9s on file for three years after they've been hired, or one year after the employee left, whichever is later.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Request a W-4 from your employees

You will need a signed Withholding Release Form (W-4) from all of your employees on or before their first day of work so that you can withhold the correct amount of federal income taxes from their paychecks. On the W-4, they should indicate the allowances they are claiming for tax purposes. If the number of allowances changes for the following tax year, ask employees to fill out a new W-4 form. For more detailed information, check out the IRS Employer's Tax Guide.

The IRS requires that you keep records of employment taxes for a minimum of four years. It pays off to set up a good system for record keeping. Records will come in handy not only for employment taxes, but for other business purposes as well.

IRS: About Form W-4

State Payroll Taxes

Be sure to register as an employer with the State of New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Registering as an employer means that you will need to start paying State payroll taxes, including the Unemployment Insurance Tax, State Disability Insurance, and other withholdings. After you have registered for your State Employment Identification Number, you should receive information about how to pay your payroll taxes. Typically, you will need to pay payroll taxes each quarter.

NJ Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Employers are not required under state law to provide health insurance. However, it is still highly advised that you do so.The only “insurance” that state law requires most businesses (except for sole proprietorships and single member LLCs with no employees) to pay into is Worker’s Compensation. As an employer, you are required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance to provide wage replacement and medical benefits in the case of any on-the-job injuries.

NJ Department of Labor

File your W-2 with the Social Security Administration

Use Form W-2 (the Federal Wage and Tax Statement) to report wages paid and taxes withheld for each of your employees for the prior calendar year.

You should send a copy of the Form W-2 to each of your employees by January 31st of each year and send Copy-A of the W-2 to the Social Security Administration by the last day of February. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.

U.S. Social Security Administration

Required Workplace Notices

To ensure that employees know their rights, employers are required to post several workplace-related posters at their job site. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a list of the posters on its website. Other agencies may have additional requirements that you should be informed of when you register with them.

NJ Department of Labor

Earned Sick Leave and Family Leave

As of October 29, 2018, there is no minimum number of employees that an employer must have in order for its employees to be entitled to earned sick leave under the Earned Sick Leave Law. The Earned Sick Leave Law makes no distinction for coverage between part-time or seasonal employees and full-time employees.

The New Jersey Family Leave Act permits leave to be taken for the care of a newly born or adopted child, as long as leave begins within one year of the date the child is born to or placed with the employee or, the care of a parent, child under 18, spouse, or civil union partner who has a serious health condition requiring in-patient care, continuing medical treatment or medical supervision.

Click the link below to learn more about your responsibilities to your employees.

Are my employees entitled to earned sick leave or family leave?