Many employees work in restaurants, hair salons and other types of businesses where they typically are tipped by customers. If that describes your job, you probably also spend some of your time at work assigned to tasks where you're not dealing directly with customers and therefore not getting tips. How does that impact the minimum wage that your employer is required to pay you?
States across the country have enacted laws in recent years that carry serious penalties for employers who violate wage and hour laws and shortchange employees for their time and work. The New Jersey Wage Theft Law, which is just over a year old, is one of the strongest such laws in the U.S.
If you work in a restaurant, coffeehouse, bakery or deli, your employer might require that everyone pool their tips. In many places where people are served one at a time at a counter, like in a Starbucks or sandwich shop, there may be a big jar on the counter where customers can place tips just as a thanks for the overall service.
Your boss has a habit of telling you he needs you to stay an extra half hour or more to "finish up" whatever you're working on, but he tells you to clock out at 5:00 because the company has cracked down on overtime pay. Maybe your boss tells you at 4:55 p.m. on Friday that you did something wrong and have to stay late to fix it. However, she says you can't show on your timesheet that you worked overtime because it's your fault that you didn't get it right the first time.
Many employers engage in illicit activities in hopes that their workers and authorities won't notice what they've done. Making unauthorized payroll deductions is one of those. The State of New Jersey's Department of Labor and Workforce Development enforces payroll deductions rules and regulations.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is one of many pieces of federal legislation that provides workers in almost every state including New Jersey with standardized, bare minimum rights or protections.
Almost every state including New Jersey (NJ) has a minimum wage in place. This amount is often characterized as the lowest possible hourly rate that an individual can receive for the work that they perform. While this is generally the case, there are some exceptions to this rule. When a state has no minimum wage, that minimum defaults to the federal minimum wage. Individuals who work in certain sectors may be entitled to less pay. Businesses with a smaller staff may be allowed to compensate workers at a lower rate as well.
When you sign an employment contract, you expect your employer to live up to the terms and conditions for the duration of your employment.
While employers in New Jersey are not required by law to provide rest or meal breaks, most understand the importance of doing so. Not only does it keep company morale high, but it also gives workers the opportunity to rest their mind and body.
As an employee, you expect your employer to pay you in full and on time, regardless of the circumstances of the company. Even if times are tough, you have the right to receive payment for the work you provided.