New Jersey First Act/Residency Law
On May 19, 2011, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law requiring individuals to be residents of New Jersey in order to hold certain public employee positions in the state. The law is known as the “New Jersey First Act” (Senate Bill No. 1730, P.L. 2011, Chap. 70).
The law became effective on September 1, 2011, and includes the following provisions:
- Any individual newly hired by Rutgers after September 1, 2011 will be required to abide by the law and establish a principal residence in New Jersey, unless the position is on a list of exempt positions submitted annually to the state by Rutgers, or the employee successfully petitions for an exemption based on critical need or hardship. New employees have a full 365 days from the effective date of hire to establish such residence.
- All Rutgers employees, whether they reside in New Jersey or elsewhere, hired before September 1, 2011 are exempt from the residency requirement, as long as they remain Rutgers employees without a break in service of more than seven days.
- However, any current Rutgers employee who now lives in New Jersey but who moves out of New Jersey after September 1, 2011 is subject to the residency requirement, unless the position qualifies for inclusion on the exempt list described below, or unless the employee files (and wins) an appeal based on critical need or hardship.
- Current and future, full or part-time Rutgers employees holding positions “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 [our] ability to compete successfully” with our peer institutions in other states, are exempt from the residency requirement.
- Any individual employed at Rutgers on a temporary or per-semester basis as a visiting professor, teacher, lecturer, or researcher, is exempt.
- If a Rutgers employee is hired on or after September 1, 2011 into a position not on the exempt list, does not live in New Jersey, and believes that he or she has a critical need to continue to live out of state, or that a move to a permanent residence within New Jersey would constitute a hardship, the employee may request an exemption from the provisions of the law by appealing to the Employee Residency Review Committee. Application for Exemption from residency requirement.