Businesses in New Jersey must comply with rules and regulations, but under a new law that takes effect on June 19th, 2023, state agencies can suspend enforcement of penalties on certain first-time violations at their discretion. Penalties may be suspended only if the first-time violation doesn’t impact public welfare, cause employees to lose income or benefits, or present the risk of environmental harm. The temporary waiver provided under this new law is available to businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees and subject to several important exceptions, including:
- Violations of a criminal nature
- Violations that were intentional or knowing acts
- Violations that are grounds for the suspension or revocation of the owner’s authority to operate the business
- Violations that are grounds for the business to be disqualified from bidding for State contracts
- Violations of any State employment or labor-related law
- Violations that are grounds for the issuance of a stop-work order
- Violations of federal law that require the State to impose a penalty
If none of these apply to the first-time violation, agencies have the discretion to give the cited business up to 60 days to “cure,” or resolve, the violation. Failure to cure or resolve the violation will result in the business being assessed all fines and penalties available under the law upon the expiration of the cure period.
If your business has been cited for a first-time violation and you believe that it is eligible for a cure, contact the agency that issued the violation. State agencies will report annually on how they are using this discretionary authority.