Wage and Hour Attorneys in New Jersey
In New Jersey, employees are entitled certain rights, including the right to fair wages and proper compensation for working overtime.
If your employer denies you these rights, forces you to work overtime without proper compensation or withholds your wages, you may be able to take legal action. At Lynch Law Firm, our New Jersey wage and hour attorneys accept a broad range of cases regarding wage violations. We are ready to fight for workers who were deprived of their hard-earned pay and help you pursue a claim against an employer who violated your rights as an employee. Do not hesitate to contact our reputable New Jersey law firm for a free, no obligation consultation. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover damages for your claim.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey wage and hour lawyer.
What Can a Wage and Hour Attorney Do for Me?
Unfortunately, many employers are willing to take advantage of their employees’ unfamiliarity with New Jersey and federal wage laws to withhold their hard-earned income or pay their employees less than they deserve.
For this reason, having a qualified New Jersey wage and hour attorney who understands the complexities of federal and state wage laws can be beneficial during a wage dispute.
Our skilled New Jersey wage and hour attorneys are experienced in representing victims of wage theft and have a strong understanding of state and federal laws governing workers’ rights. We can help employees with wage theft claims such as:
- Failing to pay overtime compensation
- Violating minimum wage requirements
- Requiring an employee to work off-the-clock
- Failing to provide final payment
- Misclassifying an employee as exempt from overtime or as an independent contractor
If you believe that you are a victim of wage theft, our New Jersey wage and hour attorneys will review your claim to determine if your employer committed a wage violation and help identify the legal options for handling the situation. This could include:
- Sending an informal letter demanding you receive your payment of wages
- Filing a wage claim with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Wage & Hour Compliance
If we exhaust these options and your employer still refuses to cooperate, we can explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit to hold your employer liable for violating your rights as an employee.
Complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.
How Do I File a Wage and Hour Claim in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is the state agency tasked with handling various wage violations, including:
- Minimum wage violations
- Overtime violations
- Unpaid wages
- Unauthorized deductions
- Unpaid bonuses
- Unpaid commissions
If you believe your employer has withheld your wages, paid you less than New Jersey’s minimum wage, or failed to compensate you for overtime pay, our attorneys will help you file a wage complaint with the NJDOL within six years of when the violation occurred.
Our New Jersey wage and hour lawyers will help you complete the NJDOL’s Wage Complaint Form (MW-13A) and mail or email it to the NJDOL’s Division of Wage and Compliance. You can also report your employer by filing a claim anonymously and providing as much information as possible.
Within 10 days after submitting your claim, the NJDOL will send you a notification acknowledging your claim and providing you a claim number. It is important that you remember your claim’s number and are ready to provide it whenever you are contacted by the Division of Wage and Compliance.
The NJDOL will then review your claim to verify that the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance has jurisdiction. Depending on the reason behind your claim, your claim will be assigned to a field investigator, handled by mail or scheduled for a Wage Collection proceeding.
The NJDOL may take as little as 30 days to complete its review and resolve your complaint. However, it could take several months to complete an investigation, depending on the complexity of your claim.
Once the NJDOL completes its investigation, you will be notified of the results. If the investigation concludes in your favor and your employer owes you money, the NJDOL will notify your employer. The employer will then have the option to pay you directly or send the payment to the NJDOL, which will then forward it to you.
If the investigation is not in your favor, you can pursue your claim through a Wage Collection proceeding for payment of wages up to $30,000. However, if the amount of wages in your claim exceeds $30,000, you must waive any amount of your claim in excess of $30,000.
During the proceeding, you and your employer will be sworn in and required to provide testimony and evidence that supports your claim. The NJDOL allows you to have a New Jersey wage and hour lawyer represent you during the proceedings who can present your evidence and assist with your case.
Call (800) 518-0508 to speak with a New Jersey wage and hour attorney.
Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that was passed in 1938 to establish wage and overtime rights for employees and the standards that employers must follow.
The FLSA affects full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in federal, state and local governments. It governs the terms and conditions of how employers must treat their workers, including:
- Paying employees at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour
- Paying employees an overtime pay of one and one half times their normal hourly wage
- Requiring employers to keep records of all hours an employee has worked
- Establishing the difference between exempt and non-exempt workers
- Establishing the difference between an employee and an independent contractor
All employees that hold positions covered by the mandatory overtime provisions of the FLSA are covered. This includes any employee who is eligible for overtime pay after working 40 hours in one work week.
If an employer violates the FLSA by failing to provide its employees minimum wage, adequate compensation for overtime, or failing to pay an employee for the total number of hours he or she worked, the employer can be sued.
Our wage and hour attorneys in New Jersey are well-versed in the requirements that employees must meet to be covered by the FLSA and will use our knowledge and experience to determine if your employer violated any provision of this law.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form if you believe your rights have been violated.
Employment misclassification is one of the most common violations of employment law. This occurs when an employer incorrectly labels an employee in a way that disqualifies him or her from certain benefits. There are two ways an employee can be misclassified:
Misclassified as Exempt
Some employees are “exempt” and cannot earn overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a single work week. Employees exempt from overtime are those who meet the following qualifications:
- Holds an executive, administrative or managerial title
- Earns a minimum of $913 per week, or an annual salary of $47,476
- Performs administrative or managerial job duties
An employer will often misclassify an employee as being exempt by increasing the employee’s job duties or giving the employee a managerial title without increasing his or her pay to $913 per week.
Misclassified as an Independent Contractor
An independent contractor is not officially employed by a company and is only hired to perform a specific job. Employers often misclassify workers as independent contractors because they are not entitled the same benefits and wages that are guaranteed to regular employees.
However, independent contractors are allowed to perform their job in any manner or rate they choose. If an employer interferes with or has direct control over the way a worker performs his or her job, our New Jersey wage and hour attorneys may be able to prove the worker has been misclassified.
If you believe your employer has misclassified you as an independent contractor, our wage and hour lawyers in New Jersey are ready to help. We will thoroughly review the terms of your employment contract, as well as the level of control your employer has over your job duties. If we conclude that you are indeed an employee, we will fight to help you get the benefits you are entitled.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Failure to Pay Minimum Wage
New Jersey’s wage laws have established a state-imposed minimum wage to ensure that employees are guaranteed fair pay and a prevailing wage.
Every employee covered by the FLSA must be paid New Jersey’s minimum wage of $8.44., under N.J.A.C. 12:56-3.1. However, employees in the following occupations are exempt from receiving the state’s minimum wage:
- Full-time students employed by the college or university in which they are enrolled, who are entitled to receive not less than 85 percent of the state’s current minimum wage
- Outside sales workers
- Automobile sales persons
- Part-time employees who are primarily tasked with caring for and tending to children in the home of their employer
- Minors under the age of 18
- Employees of summer camps, conferences and retreats that are operated by a nonprofit corporation or religious association during the months of June, July, August and September
Our attorneys will help you file a wage complaint with the NJDOL for the amount of back wages you may be owed. We will gather your employment records, pay stubs, work records and any other information needed to show that your position entitled you to be paid an hourly provision equal to or more than New Jersey’s minimum wage.
One of the fundamental rights you have as an employee is to be adequately compensated for all hours you work. This includes compensable time for any job-related tasks you perform in or outside of your workplace, such as:
- Checking emails from home
- Staying on-call for your employer
- Cleaning work equipment
- Putting on equipment and work safety gear
- Working through meal breaks
- Attending training classes, work-related sessions or employee meetings
- Taking short five to 20-minute breaks
Under NRS § 34:11-4.4, no employer may withhold or divert an employee’s wages unless the employer is legally required or allowed to do so or the employee has given the employer power to do so.
In New Jersey, employers are responsible for tracking your work time and calculating how much time you have spent working throughout the week, according to N.J.A.C. 12:56-4.1. If your employer requires that you regularly perform these duties off-the-clock, you may have a claim for wage theft.
Our New Jersey wage and hour lawyers will look for irregularities in your paychecks and time cards, and will review the regular activities of your workplace for any violations or indications that your employer is withholding your wages.
Call (800) 518-0508 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
Wage Claims for Tipped Employees
Under the FLSA, tipped employees are those who regularly receive more than $30 per month in tips. Tips are the property of the employee and cannot be used by an employer for any reason as credit against its obligation to provide employees with New Jersey’s minimum wage.
However, tipped employees have a different set of rules that employers must follow in order to fairly compensate them for their time. These include:
An Employee’s Tips Must Equal At Least Minimum Wage
If you are a tipped employee, your total earnings (your hourly wages added to the amount of tips you earned) must equal to at least New Jersey’s minimum wage of $8.44 per hour.
Under the FLSA, tipped employees must be paid a minimum of $2.13 per hour. If your total earnings do not amount to $8.44 per hour, your employer is legally required to compensate you for the difference in your paycheck.
For example, if you work a four-hour day and only earn $20 in tips, you are only earning $5 per hour in tips. In this situation, your employer must increase its wage contribution from $2.13 to $3.44 per hour to ensure that you are being paid the minimum wage of $8.44.
However, if the tips you earn during a work day averages to an amount that exceeds the minimum wage, your employer is still legally required to pay you an additional $2.13 per hour.
Our New Jersey wage & hour attorneys will review your pay stubs and employment records to find out if your employer has been compensating you less than the state’s minimum wage.
Tip Pooling with Non-Tipped Employees
Tip pooling is a standard practice used in the restaurant industry and other tip-based occupations where all tipped employees, such as servers, bar tenders and bussers, place their tips in a collective pool and equally divide the total among the tipped workers.
However, many employers will force tipped-employees to share a portion of their pooled tips with non-tipped employees to cut down on wages. This practice is illegal and as a result may bring a tip-based employee’s hourly pay below minimum wage.
Employers are allowed to take a tip credit toward their minimum wage obligation for tipped employees equal to the difference between the required cash wage (a minimum of $2.13) and the federal minimum wage ($7.25). This means that the maximum tip credit an employer can claim under the FLSA is $5.12 per hour.
To learn more, complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Overtime Pay Violations
By Federal law, employers must pay an employee one and one half times his or her normal rate of hourly pay if he or she works more than 40 hours in one work week. Employers that do not comply with this right are in violation of the FLSA and may be required to pay an employee back wages for what he or she is owed.
Unfortunately, employers often fail to properly compensate their employees for working overtime. Some of the most common overtime violations our New Jersey wage and hour attorneys see include:
- Miscalculating hourly wages
- Failing to count the number of hours an employee has worked, including the number of hours an employee has worked from home or off the clock
- Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime
Many workers are also unaware of when they are owed compensation for working overtime. Employers will often use this lack of knowledge to their advantage by claiming overtime pay is averaged out between a two-week period.
However, this is illegal and a strong violation of your rights as an employee. An employer cannot combine the number of hours you worked for the two weeks to average your total hours to 80 and prevent you from receiving overtime.
For example, if you work 50 hours one week and only 30 hours the next week, you are owed 10 hours of overtime pay for the first week.
If you believe your right to overtime compensation has been violated, our New Jersey wage and overtime attorneys are ready to help you file a claim to take legal action against your employer.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started.
Contact our New Jersey Wage and Hour Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Violations regarding wage theft and failure to pay overtime are all too common in many areas of employment. At Lynch Law Firm, our New Jersey wage and hour lawyers understand the financial devastation and burdens caused by wage and hour violations.
If you believe your employer has committed a form of wage violation, do not hesitate to contact our wage and hour attorneys in New Jersey for a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a valid legal case.
Our attorneys also work only on a contingency fee basis, which means we only required payment if we recover compensation for your claim.
Call (800) 518-0508 to speak with an experienced New Jersey wage and hour lawyer.
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Lynch Law Firm
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604