If your employer has withheld your wages or owes you for overtime work, do you know what your options are to get the money you are owed? New Jersey wage and hour laws protect employees, and an experienced employment law attorney can enforce your rights for the wages you’ve earned.
What is the Wage and Hour Law?
In New Jersey, employees are guaranteed the right to fair wages and compensation for overtime work. This right is protected at the federal level by the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Regulations. State laws specifically protect employees as it pertains to their minimum wage, sick leave, workplace labor standards, how employees are paid, and more.
If you believe that a wage and hour violation has occurred at your workplace, you only have two years from the date of the violation to file a lawsuit for compensation. If the employer’s violation was willful, the statute of limitations is extended to three years from the date of the infraction. Given this small window, it is critical that you speak with an experienced wage and hour attorney as soon as possible about your case. In addition to compensation for the wages illegally withheld from you as an employee, your employer may also be subject to administrative fines and possible jail time for the violations.
Common Wage and Hour Violations
Employers can violate wage and hour laws in many ways. Sometimes these violations are accidental, while other employers intentionally withhold compensation from their employees because they do not believe that their employees know their rights. Some of the most common violations in New Jersey include the following:
- Unpaid overtime
- Unpaid vacation, holiday, or paid-time-off (PTO) days
- Intentional misclassification of employees
- Time shaving
- Denying benefits
- Unpaid setup time
- Withholding tips
- Failing to pay commissions or bonuses
- Failing to adhere to state minimum wage rules
- Fraudulent or unauthorized paycheck deductions
It is important to note that while the federal minimum wage is $7.25, the minimum wage in New Jersey was increased to $10.00 per hour in 2019 and increased again to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2020. The minimum wage in New Jersey will then increase by $1-an-hour every January 1st until it reaches $15 an hour on January 1, 2024. If you work in the service industry, employers are allowed to use tips and gratuities to lower the minimum wage to $2.13 per hour, but if your employer does not discount the fair value of food or lodging they may be in violation of New Jersey law.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you believe that your employer has violated your rights under state or federal wage and hour laws, you may be entitled to compensation. Call or contact Trabosh Employment Law to schedule a free consultation of your claims.