The New Jersey First Act Law
TO ALL DOE EMPLOYEES:
The State of New Jersey has adopted The New Jersey First Act Law (NJSA, 52:14-7 L.2011, Chapter 70) which states effective September 1, 2011, all employees of State and Local Government must reside in the State of New Jersey, unless exempted under the law. If an employee already works for State or Local Government as of September 1, 2011, and do not live in New Jersey they are not required to move to New Jersey. However, if an employee begin his/her office, position or employment on September 1, 2011 or later, they must reside in New Jersey. If they do not reside in New Jersey, they have one (1) year after the date they take office, position or employment to relocate to New Jersey. If they do not they are subject to removal from their position or employment.
NJDOE employees who were employed effective September 1, 2011, the statute provides that any person, regardless of the office, employment or position, who holds an office, employment or position in the State of New Jersey but does not have his/her principal residence in the State of New Jersey on that effective date shall not be subject to the residency requirement of this subsection while the person continues to hold office, employment or position without a break in public service of greater than seven days. Thus, if a person is already an employee on September 1, 2011, and lives out of state, he/she is not required to move to New Jersey.
If a current employee moves out of state after September 1, 2011 they do not have a window of time to move back to New Jersey. The statues states that the one-year grace period is from the time the employee takes his office, position or employment, not one year from the time he/she moves out of state.
Current employees will be able to request an exemption from the applicability of the law on the basis of “critical need or hardship” from the committee. Current employees should apply in advance for exemption approval, rather than move and then ask for the exemption, since once the current employee moves out of state, the law applies to him.
For your convenience we have posted on DOE’s Intranet a Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet that was distributed by the Civil Service Commission. You can find a Frequently Asked Questions Sheet at http://doeintranet/administrative/policy/ResidencyFAQSheet.doc