Businesses in New Jersey must ensure that they are paying their employees properly.
As if keeping up with all the federal and New Jersey state wage and hour laws was not stressful enough for businesses, New Jersey put a much larger focus on it through the passage of the New Jersey Wage Theft Act (WTA) back in 2019.
“Wage Theft” may seem like a harsh term. Most employers don’t purposely “steal” wages from their employees, but their pay practices may be doing exactly that.
Many businesses do not understand the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and misclassify employee as exempt, or not eligible for overtime. Others do not keep track of the increases in the New Jersey minimum wage and pay their lower earning employees incorrectly.
Also, some businesses do not properly compensate employees who travel on company business, don’t understand the proper way to pay workers who work on a holiday, or illegally withhold wages from terminated workers for various reasons.
The WTA includes expanded protections for employees and harsher employer penalties. New Jersey businesses who violate the WTA can be fined thousands of dollars, be responsible for lost wages dating back six years, face possible revocation of licenses and, for some egregious violations, find themselves facing jail time.
Additionally, the WTA requires all New Jersey businesses to provide each current and newly hired employee with a notice of their rights under NJ state wage and hour laws.
New Jersey employers should ensure they are in compliance with all federal and NJ state wage and hour laws, and implement policies to correct any inadvertent wage and hour violations.
While the WTA provides many additional protections for employees, it clearly has created more challenges for employers and this has resulted in increased litigation.
Dealing with wage and hour laws can be difficult. Consider reaching out to Marzano Human Resources Consulting to ensure your pay practices are in compliance with both federal and New Jersey state wage and hour laws.