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New Jersey Employment Law Blog

New Jersey employers should be careful when hiring minors

Child labor laws are enforced by the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. They restrict when and how much someone under the age of 18 is allowed to work, the types of the establishments that they may work for, the tasks they can carry out and the products or machines that they're allowed to use.

Place of work

3 questions to ask if you suspect a wrongful termination

Did you get fired, and are you wondering if that firing was actually illegal? While employers in the United States do have a lot of freedom to hire and fire employees as they see fit, that does not mean every situation adheres to the letter of the law. Here are four questions to ask if you think your employer violated your rights:

1. Does it breach a contract that you signed?

Studies find that African-American women struggle to find jobs

Searching for a job can be difficult for anyone, but some studies have found that it is very tough for one key demographic: African-American women. They face hurdles to employment at an incredible rate.

For instance, despite the fact that these women have been getting college degrees more and more often over the years, statistics show that the private sector only employs about 8 percent of them. That's a strikingly low number. How many women with degrees still cannot find employment?

Are you working for a company as a contractor? Here’s what you should know.

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in flexible, short-term employment opportunities. This “gig economy” allows workers to earn money independently, not tying themselves to an employer. Some well-known gig economy jobs include Uber and Lyft car services, Wag dog-walking, Postmates and other food delivery services and more.

Study shows that some people are pushing back against 'MeToo'

The #MeToo movement gave many people a voice to speak out about sexual harassment and abuse. These topics are often emotionally difficult for people to talk about on their own. The momentum of hearing other stories helped people come forward.

While many people felt that the goal of the movement was good, in that it exposed activity that was often criminal and fought for justice for the victims, recent reports show that some people are actually starting to push back against this movement. For instance, one study claimed that around 40 percent of those asked noted that they felt the movement had "gone too far."

11 things your boss cannot do because of your religion

The United States is supposed to be a melting pot for people of all different races, ethnicities, religions and cultures. It is a place where everyone needs to get an equal opportunity. Unfortunately, many people feel they have been denied that opportunity in the workforce because they have faced discrimination. In many cases, the discrimination revolves around religion.

You are free to practice any religion you desire in the United States, and it is illegal for your boss to discriminate against you on those grounds. No matter what you believe, your rights may have been violated if those fundamental beliefs impacted your career. Perhaps your boss decided to:

  1. Refuse to hire you in the first place
  2. Refuse to give you a promotion
  3. Terminate your position
  4. Refuse to give you a raise
  5. Cut your pay
  6. Give you unfavorable jobs that no one else wants
  7. Make jokes or insults at your expense
  8. Harass you on a daily basis, creating a toxic work environment
  9. Lay you off when no one else lost their job
  10. Deny you the benefits given to other employees
  11. Refuse to give you proper job training

What happens if your employer doesn't pay you enough?

You get direct deposit, so you never have to cash your checks. This means you don't study them too carefully. Then, when you finally do, you realize that someone made a mistake and you've been getting paid too little. Maybe it's just a mistake for one pay period, or maybe they have been underpaying you for years. Now what?

You can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor. Typically, if the WHD investigates and finds that your claims have merit, they will tell your employer to give you back pay to make up the difference. It's a simple solution that gives you the money you were owed, albeit later than you should have gotten it.

Can you prove age discrimination?

The trouble with age discrimination in the workplace is that your company may try to make it look like something else. If they deny you a promotion based on your age, they could try to blame your performance or your interview skills, for instance.

How can you prove that a company actually discriminated against you based on age?

Can your employer pay you $7.25 per hour?

After a few months of unemployment, you get a job offer. It pays minimum wage. Happy to have some income again, you gladly take it.

Then your new employer starts paying you just $7.25 per hour. This feels too low to you, but you realize you're not sure what they're obligated to pay. Is this fair and legal?

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Costello & Mains, LLC

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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

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