Workplace Labor Laws

Make sure you're meeting State labor laws and creating a safe work environment for your employees. This is one of your most important responsibilities as a an employer.

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Workplace Labor Laws

The New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance enforces New Jersey State Labor Laws regarding minimum wage, earned sick leave, methods of wage payment, laws concerning the employment of children, and the following workplace labor standards:

Minimum Wage & Overtime Wage Rate: The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law establishes a minimum wage rate and overtime rate for all workers in New Jersey that are covered by the Act.  The law requires the payment of time and one half per hour for actual hours worked in excess of 40 hours, with certain exemptions.

Earned Sick Leave: Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law allows employees to accrue 1 hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year.  The law permits employers to create policies that provide additional leave time. There is no minimum number of employees that an employer must have in order for its employees to be entitled to earned sick leave under the Earned Sick Leave Law. The Earned Sick Leave Law makes no distinction for coverage between part-time or seasonal employees and full-time employees.

Family Leave: The New Jersey Family Leave Act permits leave to be taken for the care of a newly born or adopted child, as long as leave begins within one year of the date the child is born to or placed with the employee or, the care of a parent, child under 18, spouse, or civil union partner who has a serious health condition requiring in-patient care, continuing medical treatment or medical supervision.

Unpaid or Withheld Wages: The New Jersey State Wage Payment Law stipulates the time, manner and mode of payment, and prohibits the withholding of wages for illegal deductions, such as breakage, spillage and cash register shortages.

Fringe benefits: The New Jersey Wage Payment Law and Selected Labor Laws enforce separate benefit packages which the employer has agreed to provide, such as payment of holidays, vacation and personal days, and reimbursement of certain expenses.

Note: Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law stipulates the method by which employers are to establish a paid sick leave policy. The law permits employers to create policies that provide additional leave time.  

Health Insurance: Workers' Compensation Insurance: Employers are not required under state law to provide health insurance. However, it is still highly advised that you do so.The only “insurance” that state law requires most businesses (except for sole proprietorships and single member LLCs with no employees) to pay into is Worker’s Compensation. As an employer, you are required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance to provide wage replacement and medical benefits in the case of any on-the-job injuries.

Small businesses interested in obtaining health insurance plans for their employees have several state resources available to determine how to purchase health insurance. The Department of Banking & Insurance has developed a buyer's guide, which explains the basic rules governing the purchase of health coverage by small employers in New Jersey. The Buyer’s Guide includes frequently asked questions along with responses to the questions. The department also offers information on Individual Health Coverage (IHC) and Small Employer Health (SEH).The state's health insurance marketplace is also available to employees searching for health insurance coverage.

Required Workplace Notices: To ensure that employees know their rights, employers are required to post several workplace-related posters at their job site. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has a list of the posters on its website. Other agencies may have additional requirements that you should be informed of when you register with them.

Child Labor: The New Jersey Child Labor Law and Regulations specify the hours of work for minors, the type of occupations permitted to be performed, and the issuance of proper employment certificates for all minors under 18 years of age.

Public Contracts: The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act stipulates the payment of prevailing wage rates for workers on construction projects that are subsidized by public funds, and establishes a fair bidding mechanism for both union and non-union workers.

Public Works Contractor Registration: The Public Works Contractor Registration Act establishes a unified procedure for the registration of contractors and subcontractors engaged in public works building projects. Requires an annual registration fee of $300 and after successful completion of two consecutive years of registration, a contractor may elect to register for a two year period and pay a registration of $500.

Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act: The Construction Industry Independent Contractor Act concerns the improper classification of employees as independent contractors in the construction industry.

State Building Service Contracts: The State Building Service Contracts Act stipulates the payment of federal wage and benefit rates for workers performing "building services" for properties or premises owned or leased by the State.

Farm Labor: The New Jersey Crew Leader Registration Act and Selected Farm Labor Laws require the registration of crew leaders, and outlines minimum wage and wage payment standards, and authorizes the investigation and site inspection of migrant farm labor camps, drinking water and toilet facilities, contractors, growers and food processors operating in the State of New Jersey.

Apparel Industry: The New Jersey Apparel Registration Act requires the registration of anyone engaged in manufacturing or contracting in the apparel or embroidery industries in New Jersey as well as any person outside the State who contracts to perform work in the State of New Jersey.

Mandatory Overtime Restrictions (applies only to health care workers): The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law stipulates the conditions under which health care facilities may require certain hourly employees to work overtime.

Industrial Homework: The New Jersey Industrial Homework Law and Regulations require the issuing of licenses, permits and certificates for employers and home-based businesses involved in the manufacturing, altering, finishing and distribution of certain articles, materials and goods. The manufacturing of apparel in the home by a home worker performing work for an apparel manufacturer or contractor is prohibited.

Sheltered Workshop: The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law authorizes the employment of individuals with disabilities by charitable organizations or institutions at a rate less than the minimum wage, and requires the issuing of special permits detailing the duration, type of work performed and the payment of commensurate wages.

Learn more about these and other labor laws at the NJ Division of Wage & Hour Compliance: For official text, consult the New Jersey Statutes Annotated and the New Jersey Administrative Code.

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