Articles Tagged with New Jersey Wage and Hour Laws

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New Jersey employment law affords significant wage and hour protections to employees through the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law and the New Jersey Wage Payment Law.  Both laws were significantly strengthened by amendments in 2019, adding additional penalties,6-300x225 recovery of attorneys fees, enhanced damages, and a longer, six-year statute of limitations.  One question left open by the Legislature was whether the statute of limitations would be applied retroactively to cover conduct prior to the amendments, or prospectively to cover only conduct from 2019 onward.  The New Jersey Supreme Court has now unambiguously answered that question.

The New Jersey Wage Payment Law

The New Jersey Wage Payment Law was enacted in 1965 and governs the timing and payment of wages.  It prohibits withholdings of wages unless the law expressly allows or requires.  Wages must be paid at least twice per month, and no later than 10 days after the pay period covered.  The employee must be told in advance what she will be earning, and before any changes to her pay are made.  She must be paid all wages due when she leaves employment on the next regular payday.

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New Jersey passed the Wage Theft Act on August 6, 2019.  It is being viewed as one of the strongest and broadest wage theft laws in the nation, and rightly so.  The New Jersey Wage Theft Act increases penalties that employers may be subject to under New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Law with the addition of a liquidated damages provision and further protections for employees who bring retaliation claims.  The New Jersey Wage Theft Act also expands the employers who may be liable for employee claims by making both employers and labor contractors jointly and severally liable for violations and prohibiting waivers regarding joint and several liability.

What is Wage Theft?

Wage theft can come in a variety of different forms but boils down to circumstances where an employer does not pay an employee the amount he is owed.  The following are a few examples where an employee may have a claim for wage theft: (1) an employee is not getting paid for the full amount of hours worked; (2) a non-exempt employee is not be getting paid overtime wage rates for hours he has worked in excess of 40 hours for a week; (3) an employee’s paycheck from his employer bounces; and (4) an employer deducts time out of an employee’s paycheck for breaks which the employee never took.  As you can see from these examples, wage theft is not limited to any one industry or job.

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