The New Jersey employment law addresses many of the common factors that employers are involved in within the state. The division that administers the employment laws for New Jersey is The Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. For the most part nothing within the employment laws should surprise anyone since they are fairly straight forward. Everything from the minimum wage to the apparel industry is covered by this Division.
At the time of this writing the minimum wage was $7.25 per hour, which became effective on July 24, 2009. This is not uncommon for any state to have a minimum wage established. With the exception of jobs that require little to no experience this wage is most likely too low to attract qualified help. The New Jersey employment law; however, also requires that no matter what you decide to pay your employees they are entitled to overtime for any hours over forty in one week. There are some exemptions to this requirement and you should inquire directly with New Jersey’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. Of course, overtime means that whatever the employee’s normal hourly rate is you would pay that plus one-half times more.
The New Jersey employment law also covers unpaid or withheld wages that an employer may want to consider holding back to cover breakage, spillage, or cash shortages. The law specifically does not allow an employer to withhold these from an employee’s pay. Should an employer withhold these from an employee the employee can file a claim with the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. This is why it is important that you spell these types of issues within your employee handbook so that if you are withholding wages for some other type of legal reason you will be covered.
Another issue covered under the New Jersey employment law is fringe benefits. Although New Jersey does not mandate that you provide any fringe benefits it does insure that if you do you administer them correctly. This means that if you agreed to provide things like vacation, paid holidays, or sick time you must pay them when the employee is eligible. Again, having this clearly outlined within your employee handbook is a wise choice so that it will be very easy to provide the Division with what your policy is and that the employee knows. Trust me when I tell you that I have had to do this a number of times during my career in states like California.
Since I am very familiar with the health care industry, I understand why…
The New Jersey employment law also has provided some allowances for mandatory overtime in the health care industry. Although there are always conditions attached the law does allow for it. The health care industry is the one that has this exception. Since I am very familiar with the health care industry, I understand why this would be something that is necessary. In times of a crisis such as extreme weather or disasters it is critical to be able to require employees to stay on duty. Now it is important to understand that employees need rest and you must also consider this.
The one area that is different under the New Jersey employment law is that they provided guidelines within the apparel industry. This is covered by the New Jersey Apparel Registration Act. This Act requires that anyone engaged in the apparel or embroidery industry to register in New Jersey. This includes anyone or any business outside the state doing business inside the state. It does not allow for businesses to have employees working from home in this industry. Make that type of thing crystal clear in your employee handbook so that there is no question in the minds of your employees.
They specify the number of hours of work, the type of industries permitted to employ minors…
Although there are many more rules within New Jersey’s employee law the final element within this article would be the employment of minors. In New Jersey a minor is anyone under 18 years of age. This particular part of the employment law is covered under The New Jersey Child Labor Law and Regulations. They specify the number of hours of work, the type of industries permitted to employ minors and the issuance of employment certificates. Of course, certain industries rely on minors to get them through periods where business is very high. I hate to beat a dead horse but make sure you cover the hiring of minors in your employee handbook no matter if you employ them or not.
Good Luck and May God Bless You!