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Total Articles: 25

New Jersey Amends its Wage Statement Requirements

Among the 153 bills Governor Phil Murphy signed into law on January 21, 2020 was Senate Bill 1791, which amends the New Jersey Wage Payment Law (WPL) to require employers to provide additional information on employees’ wage statements.

New Jersey Wage Theft Law Increases Employer Liability for Wage and Hour Violations

New Jersey’s Wage Theft Act (WTA) significantly enhances employer penalties under the state’s wage and hour laws by adding liquidated damages and providing extra protections for employee retaliation claims. In addition, the WTA makes client-employers and labor contractors jointly and severally liable “for any violations of the provisions of State wage and hour laws,” including those on retaliation. In fact, the WTA declares any waiver of its “joint and several liability” section “void and unenforceable.”

Governor Murphy Signs Bill to Increase New Jersey's Minimum Wage to $15 by 2024

Effective July 1, 2019, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour from $8.85. After months of negotiations, on Monday, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to gradually raise the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024.

$15 Minimum Wage Becomes Law In New Jersey

New Jersey has joined the ranks of California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C. in adopting legislation that will gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour for most employees. The legislature passed the bill on January 31, and Governor Phil Murphy signed it into law yesterday. Here’s what New Jersey employers should know about it.

New Jersey Becomes Latest State to Enact a $15 Minimum Wage Law

With its governor’s signature yesterday, New Jersey became the latest – and the third largest – state to pass a $15.00 per hour minimum wage bill. The only states with larger populations than New Jersey passing such $15 minimum wage bills are California and New York, which enacted similar laws in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

New Jersey Employers Should Expect Minimum Wage Hike to $15 Per Hour

On Thursday, January 24, 2019, the New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee approved a bill (A 15) that, if passed by the legislature, would incrementally raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for most workers by 2024. If effected, this bill will make New Jersey the fourth state in the nation to commit to a gradual minimum wage hike to $15, joining Massachusetts, California, and New York. While the bill still requires approval by both houses of the state legislature and signature by Governor Murphy, prospect of passage is high in light of Democratic control of both houses and the Governor’s stated support of the initiative.

New Jersey Legislature Considers Raising Minimum Wage for Subcontractors at Transportation Centers

The New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill (S-3226; A-4870) to raise the minimum wage for employees of subcontractors at Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark Penn Station, and the Hoboken Terminal. If the bill passes, the minimum wage for these employees could be as high as $17.98 an hour, which would effectively eliminate and, in fact, more than double the current state minimum wage of $8.44 an hour.

New Jersey Bill Requires More Information on Pay Stubs

The New Jersey Assembly Labor Committee has voted 8-0 in favor of amending the wage notification requirements under the state Wage Payment Law to require private and public employers to provide employees a statement for each pay period that includes deductions, gross wages, net wages, rate of pay, and the number of hours worked during the pay period. Under the current law (N.J.S.A. § 34:11-4.6), employers must provide only a statement as to deductions from wages in each pay period.

New Jersey Bills Seek to Strengthen Protections Against Employment Discrimination and Promote Equal Pay for Women

On January 19, 2017, and on February 13, 2017, two bills (A4515 and S3014) were introduced in the New Jersey Legislature that would amend the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination to specifically prohibit employers from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex by paying “a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid to employees of the other sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.”

New Jersey Minimum Wage to Increase in 2017

New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase from $8.38 per hour to $8.44 per hour effective January 1, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced.

New Jersey Court: Meal Preparation, Other Tasks Properly Part of “Companion” Duties Under Old Test

In 2013 the Department of Labor announced new regulatory language that substantially limited the scope of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s companionship exemption. Those regulations, of course, were challenged through litigation which remains ongoing, and their implementation by the USDOL was delayed until many months after the original effective date of January 1, 2015. Though the new companionship services regulations have taken effect, pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court, claims brought under the prior regulations continue to work their way through the court system. A federal district court in New Jersey decided one such case last week, finding an FLSA claimant had failed to properly plead that she was not exempt from minimum wage and overtime under the prior version of the exemption. Simoliuniene v. Estate of Maszer, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25953 (D.N.J. Mar. 1, 2016).

New Jersey Minimum Wage Will Hold Steady In 2016

New Jersey’s minimum wage will remain at $8.38 per hour for 2016, the state government recently announced.

Being Classified as an Employee in New Jersey is Now as Easy as ABC for Wage and Hour Purposes

In a unanimous decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently adopted the employee-friendly “ABC” test to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor under New Jersey’s Wage Payment Law (which governs the time and manner of payment of wages due to employees) and Wage and Hour Law (which establishes the state’s minimum wage and overtime law). The ABC test is broader than the “economic realities” test used for federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) purposes and increases the likelihood that a New Jersey worker classified as an independent contractor will be found to be an employee for purposes of state minimum wage, overtime, and other provisions governing the time and mode of payment to workers. Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, No. A-70-12 (N.J. Jan. 14, 2015).

New Jersey Raises Minimum Wage

On January 1, a voter-approved amendment to the New Jersey Constitution went into effect that raised the state minimum wage for almost all employees from $7.25 per hour to $8.25.

New Jersey Adds Minimum Wage with Automatic Increases to Its Constitution

On November 5, New Jersey became the fifth state to add a minimum wage to its state constitution with 61 percent of voters supporting the ballot question. This was a hotly contested issue as business groups and unions spent significant money and time advocating for their respective positions. The constitutional amendment raises the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour and sets automatic increases which are tied into the rate of inflation starting in January 2014. New Jersey is now the fifth state to add a minimum wage to its constitution — Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and Ohio already have such provisions — and the 11th state in the country that has automatic increases to the minimum wage.

Legal Alert: New Jersey Governor Conditionally Vetoes Minimum Wage Increase

Executive Summary: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has conditionally vetoed a $1.25 minimum wage hike, instead proposing a $1.00 increase that will phase in over three years.

New Pay Equality Poster and Notice Law Enacted in New Jersey

On September 21, 2012, New Jersey Governor Christopher Christie signed into law a bill that will require many employers to post and distribute to employees a notice of their right to be free from gender-based pay discrimination in the workplace, and obtain employees’ acknowledgment of receipt of the notice. The Governor also conditionally vetoed two other gender pay equality bills and vetoed another bill that would have required employers with state contracts to disclose certain gender and race information to the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL).

Prevailing Wage Regulations Concerning Maintenance Work Adopted

On June 1, 2011, Commissioner of Labor Harold Wirths adopted new regulations relating to “maintenance work” under the Prevailing Wage Act. Last year, the New Jersey Legislature revised the definition of “maintenance work” to include “maintenance-related projects” that met certain criteria. The legislature did not, however, define “maintenance-related projects,” which led to speculation about the scope of such projects (e.g., whether it included projects such as troubleshooting, inspection, calibration, and other tasks not closely related to construction-type work). In the new regulations, the Commissioner provided the needed clarity, defining the term “maintenance-related project” to mean “a project related to the repair of existing facilities when the size, type or extent of such facilities is not thereby changed or increased.” This definition adheres to the construction-related concept at the heart of the Prevailing Wage Act.

New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission Recommends that State Minimum Wage Be Raised to $8.50 per Hour in 2009.

On December 23, 2008, the State of New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission issued its Second Annual Report.

Proposed Regulations Issued Which Would Allow Employers to Withhold Post-Tax Wages to Pay for Health Club Membership Fees or Child Care Services.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOL) has proposed amending the regulations governing the withholding of wages by employers to permit employers to withhold or divert a portion of an employee’s wages to pay for health club membership fees or child care services.

New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission Seeks Public Comments On The Adequacy Of The Minimum Wage.

From now until September 7, 2008, the New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission is seeking written, public comments concerning the adequacy of New Jersey’s minimum wage. The Commission annually evaluates the adequacy of the state’s minimum wage, and then makes a formal recommendation to the Legislature as to whether any minimum wage increase is necessary.

New Jersey Legislature Declines To Increase State Minimum Wage.

The New Jersey Legislature declined to increase the state minimum wage from $7.15 per hour before ending its session for the extended summer recess, despite a strong December 21, 2007 recommendation by the State of New Jersey Minimum Wage Advisory Commission that the state minimum wage be immediately increased to $8.25 per hour (the poverty threshold wage for a three-person family in 2007).

Deferred Compensation Plan Lawful Under State Wage and Hour Law Despite Forfeiture Provision.

Rosen v. Smith Barney, Inc., A-49-07, (N.J. June 25, 2008) — A voluntary deferred compensation plan, in which employees’ contributions from their wages were invested in company stock purchased at a discount, does not violate the State Wage and Hour Law’s restriction on deductions from employees’ wages, despite the fact that the plan provided for a forfeiture of unvested stock interests if the employees terminated their employment during the two year vesting period after the stock purchase.

Assembly Considers Mandatory Employee Meal And Break Periods.

On May 12, a bill (A2629) was introduced that would modify the State Wage and Hour Law to require employers to provide an unpaid meal period of at least 30 minutes to all employees who work for more than six hours continuously, and at least a 15 minute paid rest break to employees who work for more than four hours continuously.

Bills Introduced To Limit Public Employees' Ability To Collect And Use Accumulated Sick And Vacation Leave.

Several bills (A2583, A1441, and A2581) were introduced in May that, if passed, would limit the ability of public employees to use or receive the entire cash equivalent of their accrued but unused vacation or sick leave in advance of, or upon, retirement.
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