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Total Articles: 10

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 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).

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 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.

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.

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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