New Jersey Employment Law Case Examines the Effect of Amendments Concerning Time to File a Lawsuit for Wage and Hour Violations
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 all 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.