New Jersey has several laws in place to set standards for the wages and payments of employees in the state. First and foremost, the minimum wage is set at $8.60 per hour, and the constitution of New Jersey requires its annual review so it can be adjusted for the cost of living each year. Workers who are tipped can be paid any hourly wage as long as their tips and hourly rate add up to at least the minimum wage.
When it comes to overtime pay, different factors of your employment will determine if you should be paid specifically for hours you worked outside of your normal workday. There are two important categories defined by New Jersey law: exempt and non-exempt employees.
Some employees are exempt from overtime pay laws. These are only for employees who meet the requirements set by law. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay 1.5 times their normal wage.
Exempt employees fall into an array of different categories. Generally, they must be paid a yearly salary higher than the minimum wage, and depending on what category one falls into, must meet a set of job qualities. Exempt employees include executive, administrative, professional, outside salesperson, computer employee, and others as well.
What to do if you’re not receiving overtime pay for hours worked
First off, you should contact an experienced employment attorney to talk through your situation, and decide what avenue of recourse will be best for you. You could file a claim in court, or you could file a claim with a government agency. Either way, you should be familiar with the laws that protect you in the world of employment when proceeding.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay their workers 1.5 times their regular wage for any amount of hours worked over 40 per week. It is important to note that New Jersey does not require overtime to be paid when you work over 8 hours in one day—it is only when the total amount of hours in a week surpasses 40 hours.
You can file a complaint with the federal Wage and Hour Division or the NJ Division of Wage and Hour Compliance if you don’t think you’re receiving the overtime pay you’ve earned. The FLSA protects employees who file a complaint from discrimination by their employers. Identities are kept confidential as much as they can be, although that may not always be possible. At the close of the investigation, your identity would be a matter of public record with regard to the case. You can file a claim anonymously, but you would not be able to be kept up on the status of the anonymous claim unless a “resolution” is set with your employer and your due wages are sent.
The statute of limitations on filing a wage claim for unpaid minimum wage and overtime is 2 years.
You can file a complaint on behalf of another person, as well, but you’ll need much information regarding the situation to do so.
If you file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division, you’ll need this information for either yourself or the person you are filing on behalf of:
- The employee’s personal information, including name, address and telephone number
- The employer’s name, address, telephone number and type of business
- The job title and description of work done
- Payment information, including how much the employee is paid, the method of payment and how often wages are paid
- A description of the alleged violations
- Dates of the violations
Make a note of this information anyway, as it will be helpful when you contact an employment lawyer. You should contact the experienced employment lawyers at Castronovo & McKinney, LLC, if you have a claim in New Jersey.