NEW JERSEY EMPLOYMENT LAW
Employment Law, or Labor Law, as it is also often referred to, includes all matters pertinent to the employer-employee relationship, such as hiring and firing practices, wages and hours, wrongful termination, disability law, health and safety, and sexual harassment. Claims or complaints relating to your job should be submitted to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Certain job-related matters can be best dealt with the assistance of a New Jersey employment lawyer because of their complicated nature. For example, claims for sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination involve the collection of a great deal of evidence and extensive investigation. However, having a New Jersey employment attorney is always advised if you have questions.
Why Hire A New Jersey Employment Attorney?
The relationship between the New Jersey State and federal employment laws is complex, and requires a New Jersey employment attorney to research the interaction between these laws and based on this research, convincingly assert your case. In addition, a New Jersey employment lawyer will file your claim for unpaid wages, argue against your wrongful termination, structure a discrimination claim against your employer, and help you decide if you have a legitimate claim so that you do not end up wasting your money and time.
Wrongful termination claims in particular can be difficult for a prior employee to bring against his former employer, and a New Jersey wrongful termination attorney can act as a go-between and means of communication between the former employee and his employer and offer valuable advice.
Wrongful Termination in New Jersey
Workers are presumed to be "at will" in New Jersey. Because employees are "at will," they can be fired by their employers for any reason, or for no reason, at any time, unless there is an employment contract which specifies that the employee may only be fired for certain reasons.
In New Jersey, when an employer's termination of a worker is illegal, the worker may file a "wrongful termination" claim. It is illegal to fire a worker in New Jersey for:
Speak to a New Jersey wrongful termination lawyer if you have wrongful termination concerns or questions.
As previously noted, wrongful termination can be when an employer terminates an employee based on discriminatory reasons. For instance, if a person is otherwise experienced and qualified for a position, but does not get the position or is terminated because of his age or his disability, this is illegal. It is also illegal to base a hiring or firing decision on race, sex, religion, or national origin. You should contact a New Jersey wrongful termination attorney if you believe that you have a claim for wrongful termination.
Employee Wage/Hour Concerns In New Jersey
The hourly minimum wage in New Jersey is $7.25. Employers in New Jersey must pay wages to their workers at least twice a month, on regular paydays designated in advance.
Talk to a New Jersey employment attorney about filing a "Wage Claim" (MW-31A) with the New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance if your boss does not pay you when he is supposed to pay you. A New Jersey employment attorney can help you file this claim.
Working overtime (or more than 40 hours a week) in New Jersey entitles you to time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked over 40. This extra pay is mandated by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, and enforced by the United States Department of Labor. However, a claim for unpaid overtime should be submitted to the New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance (see above). In addition, please note that your employer can require you to work overtime so long as he pays you in accordance with the law.
Discuss your case with a New Jersey employment attorney if you do not understand how to, or seek to file a claim for unpaid overtime or unpaid wages.
New Jersey Employment Benefits
The State of New Jersey does not require employers to provide life insurance, paid vacation days, medical benefits, sick leave or meal breaks. However, if an employee is under age 18, an employer is required to give him a 30 minute meal break after 5 consecutive hours of work. In addition, although New Jersey does not provide extra options for maternity leave for pregnant women, 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave is mandated under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, the provisions of which are reflected in the New Jersey Family Leave Act.
New Jersey disability law encompasses workers injured in accidents connected to their jobs, or who are injured or become ill as a result of their occupations. Compensation for these occupational injuries or illnesses is dependent on the kind of injury or illness suffered. New Jersey disability law does mandate short-term disability benefits of 2/3 the worker's salary for up to 26 weeks compensation for injures or illnesses that did not occur on-the-job or that were not related to your employment.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with a New Jersey workers' compensation attorney if you have been injured on-the-job, or about contacting a New Jersey employment lawyer if you have questions about the way federal and state laws interact in your case.
New Jersey Employment and Labor Law Statutes
New Jersey Permanent Statutes - Labor and Workmen's Compensation