New Jersey Labor Laws

April 10th 2024

This article covers:

What are New Jersey Time Management Laws?

In the US, there are federal laws in place to manage the time spent by employees in the workplace, safeguarding their rights and guaranteeing fair pay for their efforts. These laws act as directives for employers, keeping them in check, and minimizing any forms of abuse or exploitation.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which dates back to 1938, is a critical federal law for time management, setting hourly wage rates and overtime pay, and requiring employers to keep an accurate record of their employees’ working hours. Overtime is pegged at 1.5 times the regular hourly rate for workers who exceed 40 hours a week. However, certain job categories, including executives, professionals, and administrative employees, are exempt from overtime pay depending on their job description and salary.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is another essential federal law that governs time management in the workplace, entitling eligible employees to up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. This act also requires employers to maintain employees’ health benefits during their leave and restore them to their previous or equivalent positions upon their return to work.

Employers who contravene federal time management laws face severe legal ramifications, including fines, back pay, and damages. If workers feel that their employer has violated federal time management laws, they can file complaints with the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division for investigation and legal action.

Overall, federal time management laws are instrumental in ensuring that workers are compensated fairly for their time and effort in the workplace, protecting them from abuse and exploitation by employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act are vital federal laws that govern time management and worker compensation, ensuring fair labor practices across various sectors, including non-profit, public, and private organizations.

Minimum wage $15.13
Overtime 1.5 times the regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours/week ($22.70 for minimum wage workers)
Breaks Breaks not required by law

What are the Hiring, Working & Termination Laws in New Jersey?

When hiring, employers have to take into consideration The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD). However, employers can refuse to hire a job applicant who has received a recruiting notice or order to report for active duty in the armed forces. Moreover, employers can refuse to hire an individual based on sex if it is a bona fide occupational qualification.

New Jersey is among many US states that allow employers to terminate employees on an at-will basis, regardless of the reason, as long as it’s not discriminatory or retaliatory. Similarly, employees are free to quit their jobs without giving a reason and without penalty. However, if an employee is terminated, their final paycheck must be paid on the regular payday, or within 10 days in the event of a labor dispute.

What Are the Key Labor Laws in New Jersey?

Now, we will discuss some key labor laws in New Jersey that may not be related to the categories we have previously explored. Some of these regulations include:

  • NJLAD Law – The NJLAD is a law that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on race, creed, national origin, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, genetic information, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, and liability for military service.
  • COBRA Law – If you are an eligible employee or a dependent, you can extend your health coverage after your job terminates under the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). However, the coverage is only temporary and the duration varies based on the qualifying event. If you’re eligible due to job loss, you can receive another 18 months of coverage. If the qualifying event is death of the employee, divorce, or legal separation, the employee or dependent’s coverage extends to 36 months, which is the longest period available. However, COBRA only applies to businesses with 20 or more employees. Employers with less than 20 workers must provide their employees or their dependents with up to 12 months of health coverage under State continuation of coverage.
  • OSHA Law – New Jersey has laws that regulate workplace safety for both federal and state employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal law that ensures safety and healthy conditions for employees. Employers are obliged to comply with safety measures and standards set by OSHA. Employers are also provided with training and education about safety measures and recognized hazards. OSHA, categorizes workplace hazards into physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic. Physical hazards include falls, noise, and extreme temperatures, while chemical hazards are associated with exposure to cleaning products, fuels, and solvents. Biological hazards are associated with viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can cause illnesses like hepatitis and tuberculosis. Ergonomic hazards are physical factors such as repetitive motion and heavy lifting that can cause musculoskeletal disorders. OSHA also recognizes other types of hazards like electrical, fire, and explosive hazards, but they typically fall under one of the four main categories. By understanding and identifying these different types of hazards, employers can take appropriate measures to keep their workers safe and prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. In addition to this, regular inspections are conducted to ensure safety standards are met. For public employees, New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (NJPEOSH) act ensures safety standards are met. Under this act, each employee has the right to anonymously notify their employer or NJPEOSH authorities about hazards in the workplace. Complaints can also be filed to request an inspection for safety concerns. NJPEOSH enforces standards for Asbestos in construction and general industry, hazardous waste, indoor air quality, lead in construction, and occupational noise.
  • Whistleblower Law – In New Jersey, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) offers protection to employees who “blow the whistle”. Employers are not permitted to retaliate, discriminate, fire or discipline workers who report any violation of the law to their supervisor or a public body. CEPA covers licensed healthcare professionals, employees reporting criminal or fraudulent activity that could harm stakeholders, and anyone who refuses to participate in such activity. To be protected, whistleblowers must provide written notice to a public body.
  • Recordkeeping Law – In New Jersey, employers have a responsibility to maintain accurate employee records. These records should include the employee’s name, address, birth date (for those under 18), and social security number (if applicable). Additionally, employers must keep track of the number of hours worked each day and week, as well as details about the employee’s earnings, such as hourly wages, tips, deductions, and net earnings. For employees who receive food or lodging from the employer, the cost of these expenses should also be recorded. Employers must keep these records for at least six years either on-site or in a central office in New Jersey. If the employer is a public works contractor, such as for building hospitals or roads, they must also keep a record of the employee’s social security number, craft or trade, overtime hours, and any fringe benefits paid in cash to the employee.

New Jersey Payment Laws

What is the Minimum Payment in New Jersey?

New Jersey’s minimum wage for most workers increased to $15.13 per hour.

What are the Exceptions for Minimum Payment in New Jersey?

Although the minimum wage in New Jersey is $15.13 per hour, there are certain employees and occupations that are exempt from this. In 2024, the minimum wage exceptions for certain types of workers in the United States are as follows:

  • seasonal and small businesses with less than six employees have a minimum hourly rate of $13.93
  • farm workers have a minimum hourly rate of $12.81
  • long-term care facility staff have a minimum hourly rate of $18.13

These exceptions to the minimum wage ensure that different types of workers are compensated fairly for their labor, with some exceptions taking into account factors such as the size of the business or the specialized skills required for the job.

There are several other types of workers and jobs that do not meet the criteria for the state minimum wage. These include automobile salespeople, outside salespeople, minors below 18 years old, tipped employees, and those employed in summer camps, conferences, and retreats by non-profit or religious associations or corporations (only for June through September).

In New Jersey, tipped workers are defined as people who regularly get more than $30 monthly in tips. Even if they only receive occasional tips, they are still a tipped employee. They are paid a minimum wage of $5.26 per hour, but their total earnings, including tips, should add up to at least the state minimum wage of $15.13 per hour. If their total pay doesn’t reach that amount, the employer is responsible for making up the difference.

In New Jersey, minors under 18 are typically exempt from the state’s minimum wage. However, there are several exceptions, including certain types of occupations like mercantile, food service, beauty culture, and light manufacturing. Additionally, minors with disabilities and those employed in certain industries like hotels and motels may also be subject to the $15.13 per hour minimum wage. Those in other occupations are entitled to the federal youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Full-time students must be paid at least 85% of the state minimum wage (i.e. $12.86 per hour), while the New Jersey training wage should not be lower than 90% of the minimum wage for the first 120 hours of work.  

What is the Payment Due Date in New Jersey?

Most employers in New Jersey are obligated to pay their employees at least twice a month with regards to wage payments. However, there are exceptions as executive, supervisory, and similar employees can receive their payments once a month.

What are New Jersey Overtime Laws?

If you work in New Jersey and put in more than 40 hours in a given week, you should be getting extra pay at a rate of 1.5 times your normal hourly wage, which currently stands at $22.70 for every hour worked as overtime. It’s important to note that working on weekends or holidays doesn’t count as overtime in this state. However, your employer may still ask you to work extra hours as long as they’re not breaking any labor laws. And if you’re in the healthcare industry, there are specific overtime rules that apply to you.

What are Overtime Exceptions and Exemptions in New Jersey?

Certain salaried employees in New Jersey are exempt from overtime, including executives, professionals, and outside sales employees. However, nonexempt salaried employees may be eligible for overtime pay under the Fluctuating Workweek Method (FWW), which applies to those who earn a fixed salary but have a fluctuating workweek. These employees may receive an overtime premium of one-half their regular hourly wage for hours worked over 40.

According to New Jersey law, there are certain salaried employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay. These employees include:

  • executive, administrative or professional employees earning at least $684 per week ($35,568 annually)
  • outside sales employees
  • employees of a common carrier of passengers by motor bus
  • hotel workers
  • farmworkers
  • limousine drivers employed by a limousine business
  • livestock workers
  • employees at nonprofit or religious summer camps, conferences, and retreats during June, July, August, and September

Learn more in detail about New Jersey Salaried Employees Laws and New Jersey Overtime Laws.

What are New Jersey Time Off/Break Laws?

According to both federal and state law in New Jersey, employers are not required to offer meal or rest breaks to their workers.

What are the Exceptions to Break Law in New Jersey?

While it’s true that there are no specific laws mandating employers to offer rest or meal breaks, many of them still do so in order to keep their employees productive. Additionally, according to federal law, any breaks that last between 5 to 20 minutes must be paid, while breaks longer than 30 minutes don’t necessarily have to be compensated. However, if an employee is required to work during their meal break (e.g. a factory worker who has to remain at their machine while eating), that break will be paid.

What are New Jersey Breastfeeding Laws?

Laws both on the state and federal level are in place to protect mothers who breastfeed in the workplace. In cases where the laws overlap, regulations that provide greater benefits for these mothers will be followed. It’s important to note that mothers are entitled to unpaid break time for breastfeeding and there aren’t any specific time constraints. Although federal law only applies to nonexempt employees, New Jersey law covers all workers. Employers are required to provide a private and suitable room for mothers to breastfeed or express milk, separate from any bathroom facility. If any of these provisions are violated, a complaint can be filed within 2 years of the alleged incident.  

What are New Jersey Leave Laws?

Although the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) doesn’t mandate compensation for unworked hours, many companies still offer paid and unpaid leave to their staff. It’s important to note that provisions for public and private sector workers vary significantly. For example, in New Jersey, there are two categories of leave days: Required and Non-required.

What is New Jersey Required Leave?

As per New Jersey labor laws, employers are mandated to grant their employees the following leaves of absence:

  • Sick Leave – If you work full-time, part-time, or temporarily in New Jersey, you can collect paid sick leave. For every thirty hours you work, you earn one hour of sick leave until you reach a maximum of 40 hours per year. You can start using your sick leave on your 120th day of employment. However, certain employees won’t be eligible for earned sick leave. These include construction workers who are under union contracts, per diem health care workers, public employees who have full pay sick leave provided under New Jersey law, and independent contractors.
  • Family Leave – The New Jersey Family Leave Act permits qualified employees to be away from work for up to 12 weeks over a course of 24 months. This leave is only available to workers employed by companies that have 30 or more employees. To be eligible, workers must have been employed by their company for at least one year and have worked at least 1,000 hours during the previous year. Workers may take this leave for reasons such as caring for a newborn child, adopting a child, fostering a child, or caring for a family member with a serious health condition. However, if the employee needs time off for their own medical condition, they will need to use the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Holiday Leave (public employers) – In New Jersey, state offices will be closed on legal holidays. This includes Monday as a substitute for a legal holiday falling on a Sunday, and Friday as a substitute for a legal holiday falling on a Saturday. Public employees will receive paid days off on these holidays, with the exception of Lincoln’s Birthday when offices must remain open.
  • Vacation Leave (public employers) – If you are a full-time state employee, you can accumulate vacation leave days based on years of continuous service. For 1 to 5 years of service, you can accrue a maximum of 12 working days. If you have been with the state for 5 to 12 years, you can receive up to 15 working days of vacation leave. For those with continuous service of 12 to 20 years, you can get up to 20 working days. Finally, if you have been a state employee for over 20 years, you can accumulate up to 25 working days of vacation leave.
  • Jury Duty Leave – It is the duty of every US citizen to serve as a juror in criminal or civil trials, but in New Jersey, employees, regardless of whether they work for the state or a private company, are allowed to take time off work to do so. Unfortunately, only state employees receive payment for their time serving on a jury.
  • Military Leave – It is required by law, specifically the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), that employers in New Jersey allow their employees to take a leave of absence for military service without fear of retaliation or harm. Additionally, employees are entitled to have their previous job, salary, and benefits restored upon completion of service for up to 5 years.
  • Voting Leave (public employers) – If you are a state employee in New Jersey, you can receive up to two hours of paid time off in order to cast your vote without losing any pay.
  • Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – There is a law in New Jersey known as the NJ SAFE Act which provides unpaid leave for up to 20 days per year to employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. To be eligible for this leave, the employee must have worked at least 1,000 hours in the past 12 months and be employed by a company with at least 25 employees. Additionally, the employee can take this leave if their spouse, child, or partner has been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Volunteering Leave – State employees who are certified disaster service volunteers with the American Red Cross can take up to 10 workdays of paid leave and an additional 10 workdays of unpaid leave each year. During this time, they will receive their regular rate of pay for the hours they are absent from work.

What is New Jersey Non-Required Leave?

While it is not mandated by law in New Jersey, some employers offer leave benefits to their workers on a voluntary basis. Employers who do provide such benefits must adhere to the terms laid out in the relevant contract, including associated rights, duties, and responsibilities. Optional leave options in the state include:

  • Holiday Leave (private employers) – In New Jersey, private employees are not given days off on legal holidays and their employers are not required to pay them extra for working on a holiday.
  • Vacation Leave (private employers) – Private employers in New Jersey are not required by law to offer vacation benefits, whether paid or unpaid, to their employees.
  • Bereavement Leave –If an employee needs to take time off to grieve or attend a memorial service for their loved one, this kind of leave is available. Yet, in New Jersey, bereavement leave is not mandatory for employers to offer their staff.
  • Voting Leave (private employers) – As of now, private employers are not legally required by either state or federal law to give their employees time off to vote, regardless of whether it’s compensated or not.

Here is a table of official state holidays observed in Pennsylvania:

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day 1 January
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day Third Monday in February
Memorial Day Last Monday in May
Independence Day 4 July
Labor Day First Monday in September
Columbus Day Second Monday in October
Veterans Day 11 November
Thanksgiving Day Fourth Thursday in November
Day after Thanksgiving Fourth Friday in November
Christmas Day 25 December

What are New Jersey Child Labor Laws?

In New Jersey, there are regulations around child labor that allow minors under 18 to work, but these regulations also put strict requirements on employers. Anyone under 18 who wants to work must get an employment certificate, commonly called an “A300 Combined Certification Form” issued by either the New Jersey Department of Education or the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

What are the Laws on Working Hours for Minors in New Jersey?

New Jersey has specific regulations that restrict the number of hours minors are allowed to work. For those aged 16 and 17, they can work 40 hours per week, no more than 8 hours per day, and only between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. Minors cannot work before 6 a.m. or after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, except when minors work in restaurants and seasonal amusements until 3 a.m. with written parental consent. Those aged 14 and 15 have different time restrictions depending on whether school is in session or not. However, when school is not in session, minors can work up to 40 hours a week, no more than 8 hours daily, and until 9 p.m. from the last day of school to Labor Day with a parent’s approval.

What are the Banned Jobs for Minors in New Jersey?

Minors who are below the age of 18 are not allowed to work in certain occupations or with particular machines that could pose physical, moral, or emotional risks. In New Jersey, these prohibited jobs include:

  • using power-driven woodworking machinery
  • operating grinding and polishing machines
  • working with dangerous chemicals
  • being in close proximity to pools or billiard rooms
  • minors cannot operate punch presses and stamping machines that have over ¼ inch clearance

Employers that have hired minors under 18 years of age are required to display a list of banned occupations, working hours schedule, name of every minor employee with their maximum working hours per day and week, and work and break start and end times. These requirements are not applicable to minors employed in agricultural or domestic services and newspaper delivery based on the Child Labor Laws and Regulations of the State of New Jersey.

When employers hire minors who are under 18 years old, they are required to maintain a record of various details like the name, date of birth, and address of each minor. Additionally, employers must keep track of the number of hours each minor works, the start and end times of the workday, start and end times of breaks, and the amount of wages paid. This record must be maintained for a minimum of one year from the date of entry. However, these rules do not apply to minors who are employed in agricultural or domestic services or employed as newspaper boys under the State of New Jersey Child Labor Laws and Regulations.  

Important Cautionary Note

This content is provided for informational purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information presented, we cannot guarantee that it is free of errors or omissions. Users are advised to independently verify any critical information and should not solely rely on the content provided.