There was a time in America when workers had very few rights or expectations of their treatment. Until labor activists pressed governments in Trenton and Washington to offer adequate protections to the workers who carry the state and the nation, people in New Jersey had few opportunities to succeed or even expect fair treatment at work.
Since then, the laws have changed several times to adapt to the times and the new industries that came with them. Minimum wage is an important one of these laws, as it helps bring workers’ pay in line with the cost of living. July 2019 brought the minimum wage in New Jersey to $10 per hour, while the new year brought it up to $11 per hour.
Employers can expect higher penalties for failing to raise their wages in accordance with this law. Foodservice and other industries in which workers rely on tips must be especially careful, as tip calculations can throw off the otherwise simple math that insures workers leave with fair pay in their pockets.
Employees who need time off to handle their family’s health needs are also celebrating an expansion of the Garden State’s protections. July 2020 will bring higher payments for longer periods of time in which workers may need help for family leave. New legal causes for leave, such as victims of domestic violence, will also enter the books.
Workers concerned their rights are not being respected may seek to file a lawsuit against their employers or others who are restricting them. An attorney can help review the facts and set this process in motion.