Governor Phil Murphy has made adjustments to the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, effective August 6, 2019
Additionally, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently offered
extended benefits to unemployed workers. The new changes to the Wage and Hour Law increase the
statute of limitations from two years to six years and provides for liquidated damages up to 200% of the
amount of wages lost.
New Jersey Wage Hour Law
Statute of Limitations:
– Employees now have six years, instead of two years, to bring a claim for unpaid
minimum wages or unpaid overtime compensation. N.J.S.A., 34:11-56a25.1.
– An employer who discharges or discriminates against an employee because the
employee has made a complaint or filed an action for unpaid wages, is required to pay
all lost wages and an additional amount (liquidated damages) of up to 200% of the
wages lost. N.J.S.A, 34:11-56a24(a).
– If an employee is paid less than the minimum fair wage to which the employee is
entitled or is retaliated against in violation of N.J.S.A, 34:11-56a24, he may recover the
full wages, plus a maximum of 200% of the amount of wages lost. N.J.S.A, 34:11-56a25.
– Disorderly persons offense: It is now a disorderly person’s offense for an employer to
retaliate against an employee because the employee has informed a co-worker about
rights under State laws regarding wages and hours of work. It remains a disorderly
person’s offense for an employer to retaliate against an employee who has made a
complaint, instituted a proceeding, or testified in any proceeding.
– The Wage and Hour Law now provides that taking an adverse action against an
employee (such as firing or demotion) within 90 days of the employee filing a complaint
with the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or a lawsuit for violation
of the Wage and Hour Law, creates a presumption that the employer’s action was taken
in retaliation against the employee. The presumption may be rebutted only by clear and
convincing evidence that the action was taken for permissible reasons.
Fines and Imprisonment:
– Any employer who retaliates against any employee for exercising his rights under the
Wage and Hour Law shall, upon conviction for a first violation, be punished by a $500-
$1,000 fine or imprisonment for 10-90 days, or both the fine and imprisonment. Upon
conviction for a second or subsequent violation, the employer shall be punished by a
$1,000-$2,000 fine or imprisonment for 10-100 days, or both the fine and
Ronald L. Tobia, Esq.
Email: [email protected]
Othiamba N. Lovelace, Esq.
Email: [email protected]
Thank you for your attention.