Many workers in Burlington and elsewhere throughout the state of New Jersey may assume that their employer is required to provide them with a lunch or dinner break or simply a period of rest after working a set amount of hours. New Jersey law doesn’t require business owners to offer such breaks to most of their employees though. They’re only required to offer these types of accommodations to minors.
In most cases, a federal employment law would be enforced if it were to afford wider protections to a worker that a state law that’s in place. This is why employees working in states that have lower minimum wages than the federal ones are generally paid the higher of the two hourly pay amounts.
U.S. law doesn’t generally require employers to provide their workers with meal or rest periods though. They only exception to this rule is nursing mothers. Employers must provide them with breaks to pump.
New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 34:2-21.4 does require employers to give workers under the age of 18 certain breaks though. This law states that these minors must be given at least one unpaid 30-minute mealtime per five hours of consecutive work. State law also requires any employer that gives a worker a break that is shorter than a half-hour to compensate the minor for it.
State law also requires employers to let their employees vacate their premises during their unpaid breaks. Any company that demands that a worker stays on the job site during a break must compensate them for it.
All workers need breaks to eat, handle personal business, to regroup or refocus their attention. Workers who are denied these opportunities tend to be less productive and more prone to injuries. This is why state and federal government officials have such labor laws in place.
Employees who’ve been denied breaks are likely to have lost compensation that they were entitled to. It can put you in a difficult position to have to go after your employer about unpaid wages when you count on having your job to make ends meet. A wage & hours laws attorney can help you take the worry out of filing a claim here in Burlington.