New Jersey First Act – New Residency Requirement
Effective September 1, 2011, all employees of State and local government must reside in the State of New Jersey, unless exempted under the law. Current employees living over state lines are exempt from the residency requirement. Newly hired public employees will be required to live in New Jersey or to move to the state within one year of taking a public position under N.J.S.A. 52:14-7 (L.2011, Chapter 70).
The “New Jersey First Act” provides one year for individuals hired on or after Sept. 1, 2011 to locate within the state. It also creates a process for employees facing extreme hardship or other extraordinary circumstances to seek an exemption from the residency requirement by petitioning a five-member committee established under the law.
This law covers all state, county and municipal employees, as well as employees of public authorities, boards, agencies and commissions. The law also applies to employees working within the educational system. However, it does provide some flexibility to institutions of higher education to ensure they are able to compete with similarly situated colleges and universities in other states.