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COVID19 UPDATE: MURPHY RELAXES STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR RETIRED OFFICERS AND NEW HIRES

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On April 6, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 115 which provides relief to municipalities by relaxing the “Return to Employment Rule” (N.J.A.C. 17:1-17.14) for the duration of the emergency period. Under the rule, as interpreted by the Division of Pensions, a six (6) month period is required between the date of retirement and the return to employment, and also that there has been no pre-arrangement of that return between the of that return between the employee and the former employer. The Order relaxes that rule in the interest of public safety, specifically providing that a municipality may hire retired officers under the following circumstances:

a) Retiree retired before date of order
b) Retiree is retired a minimum of 30 days
c) Retiree’s employment needed because of COVID19
d) Retiree may be hired in full time capacity, part time capacity or special law enforcement officer
e) Rule that Specials cannot exceed 25% of workforce except in resort communities is relaxed for duration of emergency.

In order to comply, the employer is required to complete a form provided by the Division of Pensions stating that the return is due to COVID19 and detailing the retiree’s responsibilities before they can be permitted to return to work.

The Order also modifies enrollment in the SHBP for new hires, providing that for the duration of the emergency anyone hired on or after Executive Order 103 (March 9, 2020) may immediately enroll in SHBP-60 day as the waiting period is waived. Again the Employer must complete the form from Division of Pensions substantiating that hiring was a consequence of COVID 19. These forms are to be available on the Division of Pensions website on 4/7/2020.

View the Executive Order

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The information contained in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes; it is a advertising publication of DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum P.C.This publication is intended to alert recipients of developments in the law and is not intended to provide legal counsel, advice or opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended as general information only. You are urged to consult a member of this firm or your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questio.