Employees have limited protections from employer abuses under New Jersey law. Typically, an employee in New Jersey must rely on federal employment laws for protection.
Part-time vs. Full-time
New Jersey generally does not provide for a definition of what constitutes “part-time” and “full-time” employment. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – a federal law – also does not define full-time and part-time status. You should thoroughly review your employment agreement to understand the hours you are expected to work. If you are still unsure, then contact your local employment lawyer for guidance.
As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage rate in New Jersey is $8.44 per hour. However, not all New Jersey employees are covered. Exceptions to the minimum wage rate include certain types of salespersons, food service employees, hotel employees and certain other occupations.
Tipped employees must make minimum wage after tips. This means that employers must make up whatever difference there may be between tips earned and the $8.44 per hour minimum wage rate. For example, if an employee make $7.00 in tips the employer must make up the addition $1.44 to get the employee to minimum wage.
In New Jersey, employees are paid an overtime rate of time and one-half after forty hours of work in a workweek. However, like most states, there are several exceptions, including for certain salaried employees.
New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Compliance was created, in part, to review claims made by employees that they were retaliated against for filing complaints against their employer because the employer improperly or failed to pay wages earned. If you were terminated from employment in retaliation for filing a complaint against your employer, you should contact New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Compliance and your local employment lawyer.
New Jersey also has a law against discrimination in the workplace. The law protects certain classes, including, but not limited to:
- National Origin;
- Sex (including pregnancy and harassment);
- Marital status,
- Sexual orientation;
- Gender identity or expression;
- Mental/physical disability; and
- HIV/AIDS related illnesses.
But the law makes it clear that employers are allowed to distinguish between applicants based on qualifications, competence, and job performance. Employers must be able to provide reasonable accommodations if a qualified individual has a disability.
Generally, New Jersey does not require employers to provide paid vacation or other benefits. Always review your employment contract as it may grant you rights to certain benefits.
Where Can I Find the Right Lawyer to Help Me?
If you believe that your employer has violated your state's labor laws, then contact a New Jersey lawyer today.