Labor and Employment Lawyers in New Jersey
Federal and state laws grant numerous rights and protections to employees. If any of these rights are violated, you may be able to pursue legal action against your employer to recover compensation or another remedy to correct the wrong you suffered.
Hiring a New Jersey labor and employment lawyer could help improve your claim's chances of success. An experienced attorney will know how to correctly apply state and federal laws to your case to help secure the justice you deserve.
The Lynch Law Firm's labor and employment lawyers in New Jersey have the legal knowledge and experience to handle a variety of employment law claims. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss your case and we can determine if it is viable.
Contact The Lynch Law Firm right now to schedule your consultation.
Types of Cases We Take On
Our New Jersey labor and employment attorneys are prepared to take on a variety of cases, including ones involving:
- Violations of state or federal wage and hour laws
- Sexual harassment
- Whistleblower claims
- Breach of employment contract
- Wrongful termination
- Discrimination based on race, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or gender
Call our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers today at (800) 518-0508 .
What Our Attorneys Can Do for You
If your rights have been violated in the workplace, you need strong legal representation to try to help ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.
These are just a few of the ways our New Jersey labor and employment attorneys can help with your case:
Reviewing Your Claim in a Free Consultation
When you contact our firm, you are entitled to a free, no obligation legal consultation where you can discuss what happened and we can determine if you have grounds for a claim. Even if our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers determine you have a legitimate claim, it is up to you to decide if you want to move forward.
Conducting a Thorough Investigation
If you allow our attorneys to pursue your claim, we will begin an in-depth investigation to gather important evidence to help build a strong case, such as:
- Your personal account of events
- Eyewitness accounts of the illegal conduct
- Records of hours worked
- Information about similar violations in your employer's past
Applying Relevant State and Federal Laws to Your Claim
The lawyers at our firm have detailed knowledge of the laws governing labor and employment law claims, including:
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- False Claims Act
- New Jersey False Claims Act
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- Wage and hour laws and regulations in New Jersey
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- New Jersey Family Leave Act
Pursuing the Compensation You Deserve
Our focus is to obtain the legal remedy you deserve for the damages you have suffered, which may include:
- Back pay
- Vacation pay
- Value of benefits lost as a result of the violation
- Bonuses you should have received
- Punitive damages
- Costs related to a job search
- Medical bills
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Compensation for unpaid hours or overtime
- Attorneys’ fees
- Reinstatement to your previous position
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Your Rights as An Employee
Labor and employment claims are based on violations of federal or state laws governing various aspects of the relationships between employers and coworkers. This includes the following laws:
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that sets the federal minimum wage and rules for overtime pay, recordkeeping and child labor standards for full-time and part-time workers in the private and public sector.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25. However, if a state sets a higher minimum wage, workers are entitled to the higher amount. This is the case in New Jersey, where the minimum wage is $8.44.
The FLSA also states that employees who are entitled to overtime pay must receive it for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Employees are entitled to be paid at a rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for each hour of overtime.
However, the FLSA does not require overtime to be paid on weekends, holidays or regular days of rest, unless those are overtime hours.
Most employees are covered by the FLSA, including non-management personnel involved in:
- Electrical repair and maintenance
- Iron work
- Longshore operations
Manual laborers and blue-collar workers who perform repetitive tasks with their hands, using physical skill and energy, are also covered by the FLSA.
There is an exception made for workers who are considered bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees, provided they earn no less than $455 per week.
If your employer engages in repeated or willful violations of FLSA rules on minimum wage or overtime, your employer is subject to a civil monetary penalty. The maximum penalty for violations that occurred before Jan. 13, 2017 is $1,894, while the penalty for violations after Jan. 13, 2017 is $1,925.
If you file a claim for willful failure to pay minimum wage or overtime, you may be able to recover twice the amount of unpaid wages you are owed, along with legal fees.
New Jersey Wage and Hour Laws
State laws on minimum wage and overtime are similar to the requirements of the FLSA.
For instance, most employees are entitled to at least the state's minimum wage and nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime when they work in excess of 40 hours in a week.
Certain employees are exempt from this requirement, including:
- Car salespeople
- Outside salespeople
- Minors under the age of 18 who do not work in retail, food service, first processing of farm products, beauty culture jobs, laundry, cleaning, light manufacturing, apparel occupations, and hotel and motel jobs
Overtime pay is also one and one-half times the rate of regular pay. The law does not allow an employee and his or her employer to come to an agreement to not pay overtime.
This law does not apply to employees of the state, county or municipal government or employees of the New Jersey State Board of Education.
New Jersey's wage and hour laws also require employers to do the following:
- Compensate employees for work performed before or after they clock in
- Pay employees bonuses and commissions they have earned
- Pay for vacation, sick days or holidays when promised
- Provide final paychecks on time
- Not deduct pay for property damage, cash shortages, or the cost of uniforms or equipment
If your employer violates any of New Jersey's regulations on overtime or the minimum wage, you can file a claim to recover all of your unpaid wages. You can also collect liquidated damages, which are intended to compensate you for the delayed payment of wages.
The law allows claimants to recover 100 percent of their unpaid wages as liquidated damages. This means you can recover $1,500 in liquidated damages if your unpaid wages equal $1,500.
New Jersey also allows claimants to recover compensation for reasonable attorneys’ fees.
Laws Enforced by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces numerous laws prohibiting various types of discrimination in the workplace, including:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
This law prohibits discrimination based on religion, national origin, sex, race or color. Common examples of discrimination under Title VII could include:
- Quid pro quo harassment, where an employer offers to trade sexual favors for advancement
- Unwanted sexual advances or physical contact in the workplace
- Firing an employee who turns down unwanted sexual advances
- Making sexually suggestive comments
- Taking employment action against victims of domestic violence
- Terminating or failing to hire someone because of race, color, sex, national origin or religion
- Failing to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs when doing so would not pose an undue hardship
- Retaliating against an employee for filing a complaint about some form of discrimination
- Not promoting an employee because of race, sex, color, national origin or religion
- Offensive comments about an employee's sex
The Equal Pay Act of 1963
The Equal Pay Act (EPA) prohibits employers from paying different wages to employees of different sexes when those employees perform the same work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility. The exceptions are situations where pay is different due to:
- Seniority system
- Merit system
- Systems where earnings are paid based on quantity or quality of production
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating based on age for employees who are 40 years old or older. Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who complain about age discrimination.
Age discrimination could include:
- Not hiring an individual due to his or her age
- Firing an individual due to age
- Making changes to an employee's compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment due to age
- Classifying an employee in such a way that he or she will be denied opportunities due to his or her age
Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
This section of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on an individual's disability, including retaliation for complaints about disability discrimination.
The law covers several types of disability discrimination, such as:
- Failing to hire someone due to his or her disability
- Utilizing standards that cause an individual to be discriminated against based on a disability
- Denying benefits due to a disability
- Failing to make a reasonable accommodation for a disability, provided the accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the employer
Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
These are similar to Title I of the ADA, except these sections apply to disability discrimination against an employee of the federal government.
New Jersey Law Against Discrimination
The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits the same forms of discrimination as the different laws enforced by the EEOC. However, New Jersey's law also prohibits discrimination on the basis of:
- Familial status
- Marital status
- Domestic partnership status
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity and expression
- Genetic information
- Military service
- Atypical hereditary cellular or blood traits
This law covers intentional discrimination, such as different treatment or statements that reflect discriminatory bias, and policies or practices that have the effect of discriminating against protected groups.
In order for a policy or practice to be deemed non-discriminatory, the employer must prove that the policy meets a legitimate business need that cannot be served with a measure that does not discriminate.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) states that eligible employees are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year.
Employees must meet the following criteria to be eligible for FMLA leave:
- They have worked for their employer for at least one year
- They have worked more than 1,250 hours in the past year
- They work at a place where the employer employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles
Eligible employees can take leave for any of the following reasons:
- Birth and care of their newborn child
- To take care of a spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition
- When an employee adopts or fosters a child
- If the employee is not able to work due to a serious health issue
Employers can infringe on your right to leave in the following ways:
- Denying a valid request for leave
- Terminating you after returning from leave
- Retaliating against you for taking leave
- Interfering with your leave request in some way
In an FMLA claim, you are prohibited from recovering compensation for emotional distress or punitive damages. However, you are able to recover liquidated damages if your employer is unable to show that it acted in good faith. Liquidated damages are equal to the amount you recover in lost back and front pay.
New Jersey Family and Medical Leave Act
The New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA) is very similar to the federal version, with many of the same requirements.
However, the employee eligibility criteria are slightly different as employees have to work just 1,000 hours in the prior 12 months to be entitled to take leave under the NJFLA.
Unlike the federal law, the NJFLA includes a parent-in-law under the definition of immediate family. This means you can take leave to care for a mother-in-law or father-in-law with a serious health condition.
However, while the FMLA allows employees to take leave for the treatment of their own health condition, New Jersey's law does not.
Call our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers right now at (800) 518-0508 .
Statutes of Limitations for Labor and Employment Claims
Every claim for a violation of federal or state labor and employment laws has a statute of limitations. The statute sets a timeframe during which you must file a claim, otherwise you will lose the right to do so, and you will lose your only opportunity to pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
These are the statutes of limitations for claims under the following laws:
- Fair Labor Standards Act – Two years from the date when the cause of action accrued; three years if you were the victim of a willful violation of the law
- New Jersey Wage and Hour Laws – Two years from when the cause of action accrued
- EEOC Claims – 300 days from the date discrimination took place to file a claim with the EEOC
- New Jersey Law Against Discrimination – Two years of the date of the discrimination
- Family and Medical Leave Act – Two years from the date of the violation; three if it was willful violation of the law
Some laws do not specify a statute of limitations, such as the New Jersey Family Leave Act. That is why you should meet with a New Jersey labor and employment lawyer immediately as it could help ensure your claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Contact our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers right now.
Schedule Your Free Legal Consultation with our Trusted Attorneys
Have you suffered discrimination, retaliation or other employment actions that violate your rights as an employee?
You may be able to file a claim to recover compensation and bring your employer to justice under federal or state law.
The Lynch Law Firm's New Jersey labor and employment lawyers can review your claim in a free, no obligation legal consultation. If you have a viable claim and decide to proceed, we will begin a comprehensive investigation to try to build a strong case.
Contact our New Jersey labor and employment lawyers right now for a free legal consultation.
Free Case Review
Lynch Law Firm
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604