There are two spikes in employment every year in the state of New Jersey: the holiday season and the summer season. During the holidays, retailers across the state hire part-time, or seasonal, workers to help with the rush of holiday shoppers. During the summer, retailers, restaurants and municipalities hire seasonal workers to help with the influx of vacationers along the Jersey Shore. This includes lifeguards at pools, along the bay and on the beaches.
Seasonal employment is defined by law in New Jersey as a job that lasts for no more than 36 weeks. The contract for a seasonal employee might also state that you will not be paid additional money if you happen to work additional hours. This means that you will not be paid overtime wages, just the regular rate, if you work more hours in a week than what was agreed upon when hired.
The same goes for unemployment. Athletes and teachers in New Jersey are mandated by federal law that they cannot seek unemployment during their off-season. All other seasonal employees are handled on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the state when the off-season arrives.
Seasonal workers typically understand that the job for which they are hired is just that, temporary. They understand that when the season ends and the business where they work closes up until next year that they have not been laid off, but instead have to wait until the next year to resume work.
Seasonal workers have rights in New Jersey just like part-time and full-time employees. Make sure you know those rights before accepting seasonal employment, so you know what to look for in your paycheck, or how you are treated on the job.