The New Jersey First Act mandates that public employees, which include NJIT employees, be residents of New Jersey in order to hold certain positions. This law is effective September 1, 2011 and applies to all current and newly hired NJIT employees, unless otherwise exempted.
The following provides an outline of how this law affects current and new NJIT employees.
- Any current employee living outside New Jersey on the effective date of the law is exempt from the residency requirement. These employees will continue to be exempt, even if their job classification changes or they move within the state they currently reside or another state, provided there is not a break in their service with NJIT of greater than seven days.
- Any employee who now resides in New Jersey but who moves out of state after September 1, 2011 is bound by the New Jersey First Act. The Act allows employees the opportunity to file an appeal, based on critical need or hardship, to the State of New Jersey; the University does not have the discretion to exempt employees from the residency requirement of the Act.
- Any individual hired on or after September 1, 2011 must conform to the law and establish a principal residency in New Jersey. Principal residency is defined as the domicile where the individual spends the majority of nonworking time, the location which is the majority of his/her domestic life, and the location which is designated as the legal address and legal residence for voting.
- Any new employee who does not reside in New Jersey will have 365 days to establish residency within the State.
- Applications for exemptions to this law may be made to the State of New Jersey by individuals on the basis of critical need or hardship.
Exemptions under the Act:
The law does not apply to any individual employed at NJIT on a temporary or per semester basis as a visiting or adjunct professor, teacher, lecturer, or researcher.
Current and future NJIT employees who are full or part-time members of the faculty, the research staff, or the administrative staff, will be exempt from this act if their title is included in a report that will be submitted annually by NJIT to the State of New Jersey. Exempt positions are those requiring special expertise or extraordinary qualifications in an academic, scientific, technical, professional, or medical field or in administration that if not exempt from the residency requirement, would seriously impede NJIT’s ability to compete successfully with other peer institutions.
Full text of the act can be found here.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the effective date of this law?
September 1, 2011
2. Does this law affect both current and future NJIT employees?
3. If I am a current NJIT employee and live outside the State, do I have to move to New Jersey?
No. Any NJIT employee living outside New Jersey on August 31, 2011 is exempt from the residency requirement as long as you remain an NJIT employee without a break in service of more than seven (7) days. You also continue to be exempt from the residency requirements if your position classification changes or if you take a new position at NJIT.
4. If I live in New Jersey now, but want to move to another state, will I be subject to the provisions of this act?
Yes, unless the position is approved by the State of New Jersey as an exemption or you file an appeal based on critical need or hardship.
5. If I take Family Leave, is this considered a break in service with NJIT?
No, as long as you remain employed by NJIT during your paid or unpaid leave of absence.
6. What is the definition of residency as it relates to this act?
The law defines principal residency as:
i. Where the individual spends the majority of his or her nonworking time;
ii. The location which is most clearly the center of his or her domestic life; and
iii.The location which is designated as his or her legal address and legal residence for voting.
7. Why are some employees exempt from this act?
For NJIT to have the ability to attract superior faculty, staff and administrators, the law exempts employees who are required to have a special expertise or extraordinary qualifications in an academic, scientific, technical, professional, or medical field or in administration that if not exempt from the residency requirement, would seriously impede NJIT’s ability to compete with peer institutions. NJIT is required to compile an annual report listing these positions and send to the State for approval. (Listing of these positions is pending State approval.)
8. What do I do, if as a new employee (initially employed after August 31, 2011) I cannot move to New Jersey; or if I wish to be employed with NJIT and cannot move to New Jersey?
The Act allows employees the opportunity to file an appeal, based on critical need or hardship, to the State of New Jersey; the University does not have the discretion to exempt employees from the residency requirement of the Act. Appeals should be directed to The Office of The Chief Counsel to the Governor, State House, P.O. Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625.
9. Who can I contact if I have any other questions regarding employment at NJIT and the NJ First Act?
Ms. Annie Crawford, Director of Employment and HR Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org