Articles Tagged with New Jersey overtime lawyers

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The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor has issued a new regulation vastly increasing the number of employees who are entitled to overtime.

Background

Both Federal and New Jersey employment law both require that employees must be paid one and a half times their regular hourly rate (“timecourthouse-1223280__340-300x200 and a half”) for work beyond forty hours in any week.  However, there are exceptions.  The major exemptions are for executive, administrative, professional, and highly compensated employees.  In addition to the requirements particular to each exemption, the employees cannot be paid less than the threshold for the exemption.

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The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, like New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law, requires that employees as a general rule must be paid a specified minimum wage, and overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week.  However, certain classes of employees are exempt from these requirements.  Thus, nonexempt employees need to be paid minimum wage and overtime, while exempt employees do not.  Inus-supreme-court-300x200 order to be considered an exempt employee under the exemption for “professional” employees, an employee must be paid on a “salary basis,” make at least $684 per week, and her work must require advanced knowledge in a field which is normally acquired “by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction; or… requires invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor.”

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which hears appeals from the Federal trial courts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the United States Virgin Islands, recently examined the professional employee exemption in the case of Stephanie Higgins v. Bayada Home Health Care Inc.

Background

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The New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and Wage Payment Law

Like the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law requires that employers pay non-exempt employees minimum wage for all hours that they work, and overtime (time and a half) when employees work more than forty hours per week.  New Jersey’s Wage Payment Law requires that employers pay employees pay allemployment_law_damages wages that they are due, and sets forth the timing and procedures for payments and permitted deductions.  This is a much-litigated area of New Jersey employment law.

Suits under the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and Wage Payment Law have long been required to be brought within two years of the violations or they would be time barred.  However, in 2019 the New Jersey Legislature amended both laws to extend the time for filing a civil lawsuit for violation of the laws from two to six years.  The amendments were silent about whether they would apply retroactively or only going forward.  Generally, unless the Legislature provides for retroactive application of new statutes of limitations they apply only prospectively – in other words they normally apply only going forward to acts which occurred after the amendment, not looking backward to what happened before.  These amendments were to take effect immediately upon enactment, which occurred on August 6, 2019.

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