In January of this year, New Jersey enacted a package of laws designed to root out and punish misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
Articles Discussing New Jersey Wage & Hour Laws.
Earlier this year, Governor Murphy signed a package of legislation aimed at tightening worker misclassification enforcement in New Jersey. One of these new measures, Assembly Bill 5843, established a new posting requirement for employers.
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’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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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).
The New Jersey Supreme Court has held “that the ‘ABC’ test derived from the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 43:21-19(i)(6), governs whether [an individual] is an employee or independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim.” Hargrove v. Sleepy’s, LLC, No. A-70-12 (Jan. 14, 2015).
New Jersey employers now have important new compliance responsibilities related to the 2012 amendments to the New Jersey Equal Pay Act. Effective January 6, 2014, employers must provide notice to employees of their right to be free from gender discrimination in the workplace, including inequity or bias in pay, compensation, benefits or other terms and conditions of employment under existing federal and state laws. The Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) published the required notice and related regulations in the New Jersey Register.
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.
New Jersey voters approved, 61 to 39 percent, an amendment to the state constitution that increases the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 per hour for non-exempt employees, a $1 per hour increase from the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage. Under the amendment, each year on September 30 the minimum wage will increase if the consumer price index (CPI) increases, with the revised minimum wage taking effect the following January 1. If, however, the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour, exceeds the state rate, the state rate will increase to match the federal rate, and further revisions based on the CPI will be based on the increased, matched rate.