Your work may be a source of pride and enjoyment, but it is also brings in the income you rely on to provide for yourself and your family, maintain your lifestyle, and give you the security you need to thrive. When your income is threatened by a wage and hour dispute, it creates stress and undue hardship. But federal and state laws have been created to prevent employers from taking unfair advantages of their workers. When your employer violates this law, it can have a serious negative impact on your income.
In New Jersey, the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance enforces state labor laws for minimum wage, earned sick leave, methods of wage payment, and more. By law, you are entitled to the following:
- Minimum wage and overtime wage rate: Workers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to a minimum wage rate and an overtime rate. For overtime, workers are entitled to pay time-and-a-half per hour for the actual hours worked over 40 hours, with some exceptions. Workers exempt from overtime pay includes executives, administrative workers, professionals, those who work on a farm or care for livestock, and employees of a common carrier of passengers by motorbus.
- Paid sick leave: After October 29, 2018, New Jersey workers are entitled to accrue one hour of paid, earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. Employers can legally implement policies that offer additional leave time.
- Unpaid or withheld wages: New Jersey law mandates the manner, time, and mode of payment, and forbids the withholding of wages for illegal deductions. For example, an illegal deduction might be cash register shortages, breakage, or spillage.
- Fringe benefits: If your employer has agreed to provide separate benefit packages, the New Jersey Wage Payment Law and Selected Labor Laws will enforce those benefits. This might include vacation time and personal days, holidays, and reimbursement of expenses.
Employers are bound by certain rules when it comes to paying employees. Some of those that may be relevant to you, include the following:
- Payment method: Your employer can legally pay your wages in cash, by check, direct deposit, or by payroll debit card.
- Pay frequency: Hourly employees must be paid at least every two weeks or more often, depending on employment contract terms.
- Tipped employees equalization: Earnings for tipped employees, such as bartenders and waiters, must equal at least the minimum wage per hour. Although your hourly rate is up to your employer, you must earn at least the minimum wage with tips. If your tips combined with your hourly wage does not equal minimum wage, your employer is responsible for making up the difference.
Penalties for Failing to Follow Payday Laws
If you are not being paid fairly or in accordance with New Jersey law, your employer will face penalties. Violations may result in payment of back wages, along with civil or criminal action when warranted.
South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Burnham Law Group, LLC Stand by You as You Stand Up for Your Rights
Our accomplished South Jersey employment lawyers at Burnham Law Group, LLC have a wealth of experience protecting the rights of clients in all areas of employment law. We know that your dispute can have a powerful impact on your day-to-day life, and we will be there for you to answer your questions and provide responsive personal service. To learn more, please contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, we also serve clients in South Jersey, including those in Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County.