New Jersey Labor Legislation
For the most part, New Jersey’s labor laws, also known as Wage and Hour Laws, mirror Federal Labor Laws. Federal Labor Laws are known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, and they cover much more than just minimum wage. New Jersey’s laws go a bit further, covering the age at which a minor may be employed, home-based businesses, the clothing/garment industry, pay periods, and what monies are and are not allowed to be withheld from an employee’s pay. They also cover the pay of executives, of bonuses, and laws regarding the labor of independent contractors and salespeople, as well as Union employees.
Many times, an employer violates the FLSA and state law regarding breaks, meal times, overtime pay and commit other violations of labor laws due to ignorance of the laws regarding their employees, rather than a true desire to cheat anyone out of that which is rightfully theirs.
Rest and Meal Breaks
For example, according to the FLSA of the US Government, employees are supposed to have one meal break per eight- hour shift, and two fifteen minute rest breaks. Employees are allowed to work 16-hour shifts, commonly known as double shifts. The employees performing work for this amount of time are supposed to have two meal breaks and four rest breaks of fifteen minutes. Triple shifts- those worked where the employee is working 24 hours straight- are prohibited, except in the case of Emergency Personnel like firefighters, paramedics, and police in some situations.
Minimum Wage and Hour Laws and Paydays
Federal Minimum Wage is $7.25 per hour worked each week, and time and a half for every hour over forty hours worked in a week. In New Jersey, the minimum wage matches the Federal Government’s standards. Paydays in New Jersey must be regular, not less than twice per month, at an interval designated by the employer. If the regular payday falls on a holiday, or the employee will be unable to cash their check due to the day of the week or their schedule, then the paycheck or legal US cash must be given to the employee the day before the holiday or other day where there may be a problem cashing the check. There must be some type of receipt given, whether a check stub or other paper defining which deductions were taken from the employee’s paycheck, such as those for Social Security, Medicare, Federal and state taxes, and health insurance premiums. The withholding of expenses such as register shortages, breakage of retail items, and other things is prohibited by New Jersey Law.
New Jersey Law allows executives of corporations and other businesses to be paid once monthly on a designated day. If this day falls on a holiday, then the executive is entitled to his salary check on the business day immediately preceding the holiday. Bonuses are to be listed separately from the regular paycheck. The executive is also entitled to a check stub or other paper that explains which monies were withheld from their check.
New Jersey Labor Laws cover the amount of hours a minor may work, at what age the minor may begin employment, and what types of employment are or are not allowed. There are many rules regarding minors in the entertainment/theatrical industry which vary slightly from other child/teen labor laws, and are meant to protect these children from sexual and monetary exploitation.
An employer may require a physical as a condition of continuing employment, or as condition of hiring an employee, either minor or adult over the age of 19 in New Jersey. The employer may not, however require reimbursement or payment of doctors’ and labs’ fees for the exam either by the employee/prospective employee, or the parent or guardian of such persons.
There are laws governing overtime in New Jersey, and separate and special overtime rules for those who work in the healthcare industries.
The New Jersey Apparel Registration Act requires that all people working in or contracting work in the apparel or embroidery industries register with the State of New Jersey. Homework industries/ workers are not allowed to contract nor perform work in the garment industries for commercial purposes.
The New Jersey Industrial Homework Law and Regulations require certificates, permits, and licensing for employers engaged in any home based business which alters, creates, or manufactures certain goods and products, but does not allow the creation, sewing, or alteration of garments for commercial manufacturing.
New Jersey Labor Laws do include farm workers who are migratory and live in migrant camps. Living conditions must meet minimum standards, there must be access to toilet facilities, and running water. These camps will be and are inspected frequently to ensure compliance.
To Find More Information:
For more information about the Labor Laws in the New Jersey go to: http://www.lwd.dol.newjersey.state.us/
If You’ve been Unfairly Treated by Your Employer
If your employer has not properly paid you, or if you believe you may have a case against your employer for wrongful termination, improper wages, improper working conditions, you do have the right and the option to speak to a labor law attorney. Sammarro & Zalarick can help you navigate the complicated complaint and resolution system of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Your lawyer can coach you so that you give the best answers in the manner in which the Board expects you to, and get you all the money you are entitled to if you have a case. The system and the process can be very confusing and frustrating for people trying to navigate the system themselves, especially if this is the first time they’ve had to navigate any legal or labor system. If your employer has unfairly withheld your wages, not paid you properly, or if the facilities were never available for hygiene, such as working toilets on a farm using migrant workers, you may have a case against your employer. Contact a lawyer that specializes in labor law for employees as soon as possible, because you don’t have a lot of time- a year from the time of the offense- to sue your employer for their misconduct and mistreatment of you.
The official statutes for New Jersey Labor legislation can be viewed here : New Jersey LABOR AND WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION Statute
To speak to an attorney experienced in New Jersey Labor Law, Contact Sammarro & Zalarick or call our office at 1-973-478-1026 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.
Note: figures quoted on this page were deemed to be correct at time of publication November 2011.