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You have options if your employer violates wage and hours laws

The New Jersey Office of the State Comptroller published a report in January. It shed light on how some of the biggest wage and hours laws violators in the state receive tax incentives to operate here. The agency argued that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)'s cronyism, dysfunction and poor oversight have created the perfect environment for such labor disputes to arise. NJEDA manages the tax incentives system.

Advocates for the overhaul of NJEDA's operations argue that the state agency should focus on incentivizing companies that wish to bring in quality jobs, not exploitative ones.

When asked about the types of exploitation is happening, reform advocates noted how Amazon has hired more than 49,000 warehouse workers in the state in recent years.

New Jersey now ranks as having the leading number of freight material movers and hand laborers in the country yet, their average hourly wages continue to decrease. The hourly rate for workers in these roles reached $13.03 in 201. It dropped to $12.93 a year later. New Jersey ranks 40th for warehouse worker pay.

Reform advocates point out that warehouse workers are more apt to be hired on as seasonal, temporary or part-time workers. They also are often subjected to working fluctuating schedules and are held to higher production standards than workers in other sectors.

New Jersey companies that have received tax incentives in recent years have increasingly been fined or sued for violating wage and hours laws here in the state.

In 2017, a logistics company that had received an NJEDA break was fined for failing to reveal that they'd violated wage and hours laws. One of their affiliates had criminal charges filed against them for their indiscretion.

Another Glouchester County company that received an NJEDA tax break in 2018 reportedly misclassified employees. They also didn't disclose its many wage and hours violations in hopes of continuing to receive government support.

Employers who fail to pay their employees overtime or the state or federal minimum wage may have violated existing laws. If this is the case with your employer, then you may be eligible to file suit against them.

It can put you in a difficult position having to go confront your Burlington employer about your unpaid compensation. An attorney can review the evidence that you've amassed and helped you resolve your differences with your employer.

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