Employees in Elizabeth, New Jersey are protected by state and federal law from wage theft. Unfortunately, far too many employees are unaware of their rights, and unscrupulous employers can fail to pay the minimum wage or required overtime compensation.
If you have been denied your wages, please contact an Elizabeth, NJ unpaid wages & overtime lawyer today. We can bring a legal action on your behalf, as well as on behalf of coworkers similarly situated.
Minimum Wage in Elizabeth, New Jersey
State governments can set their own wage so long as it is higher than the prevailing federal minimum wage. New Jersey has followed this path. As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in our state is $11.00 per hour, and it is scheduled to increase $1.00 per hour each year until 2024. Small and seasonal employers and employers of farm laborers can pay less.
There are some exemptions set out in the law, which can be found at NJSA 34:11-56a4. For example, the law does not cover people who work part-time tending children in someone’s home or someone under 18 who does not hold a special vocational school graduate permit. However, most workers are covered.
Each week, divide the amount you made by the hours you worked. You should make at least $11.00 per hour. Even restaurant servers must make at least the minimum wage once tips are included. If you are paid bi-weekly, you do not average out the two weeks. Minimum wage and overtime must be paid each work week standing alone.
New Jersey Overtime Law
Employees are entitled to receive 1.5 their regular hourly rate for each hour worked above the 40-hour per week threshold. This is New Jersey’s overtime requirement. Someone who works 45 hours in a week should get 5 hours at time and a half.
New Jersey’s overtime laws apply to both hourly and salaried employees. This means a salaried worker who spends more than 40 hours a week working should receive overtime, unless he or she is legally exempt from overtime.
The law exempts those who work in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as well as outside salesmen, farm laborers, limousine drivers and some other types of workers. Don’t assume that you are covered by an exemption. We will need to look closely at the type of work that you do, which is more important than the labels your employer assigns your job.
Many employees are denied overtime, which is a particular problem in the following jobs:
- Police officers
- Medical support
- Hospital employees
- Restaurant workers
- Union employees
- Construction workers
Signs You Have a Wage or Overtime Complaint
Employers are rarely upfront that they are improperly withholding wages. Instead, we encourage employees to look for classic signs that they are being unfairly denied payment, such as:
- The employer averages hours over a two-week period
- Paystubs do not clearly identify the number of hours worked
- An employer does not require the submission of a timesheet
- The definition of “workweek” constantly shifts
- The employer does not keep accurate wage records or provide proper wage statements
- An employer flatly states that “salaried employees are not entitled to overtime”
Elizabeth, NJ Unpaid Wages & Overtime Lawyers
Bringing a wage claim is often more complicated than many people imagine. When employers have engaged in widespread wage theft, then it is vital that employees have a trusted advocate in their corner. today to discuss your case.