New Jersey Wage and Hour Laws

Labor Laws

In New Jersey, federal and state laws govern pay day laws including wage and hour requirements. The major federal law governing wages and hours is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The major state laws governing pay day requirements is known as The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law. It regulates how much workers must be paid, how many hours they can be required to work, and the special rules that apply to younger workers.

Here, we will focus on New Jersey wage and hour laws, including pay day requirements (frequency and manner), minimum wages, and overtime pay. See FindLaw's Wage and Hour Laws section for additional articles and resources.

Pay Day Requirements: How Often?

New Jersey employers must pay their hourly employees every two weeks (or more frequently), depending on the terms of the employment contact.

Method of Payment

An employer may pay wages by cash, check, or direct deposit, so long as the employee consents.

What is the Minimum Wage in New Jersey?

The minimum wage for employees in New Jersey is $8.25 per hour.

When is an Employee Entitled to Overtime Pay?

If an eligible employee works more than 40 hours in a single week, he or she will be entitled to 1 1/2 times their hourly pay rate. Certain workers are exempt from receiving overtime pay such as executives receiving a salary or elected officials.

Is There a Penalty for Failing to Follow Pay Day Laws?

Yes. Failure to pay the legal minimum wage and other violations may result in payment of back wages and civil or criminal action where warranted. Click here to file a claim or make a report.

See Fair Wages FAQ, Exempt Employees, and Employees Rights 101 for more information.

Code Sections

Wage and Hours in the Workplace

1) Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

2) N.J.S.A. 34:11-56a et seq.

Pay Day Requirements

Employers are required to pay wages at least twice during each calendar month, on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer. However, for certain executive, supervisory or other special classes of workers, payment can be made once a month as long as there is a regularly established schedule.

Method of Payment

Cash, Check and Direct Deposit or Payroll Debit Card.

Minimum Wage

Hourly Employees $8.44 per hour

Tipped Employees: Your total earnings (hourly wage plus tips) must equal at least the minimum wage per hour. The hourly rate is up to your employer; however, the suggested rate is a minimum of $2.13 per hour. If the hourly rate plus tips does not equal at least the minimum wage per hour, the employer is required to make up the difference.

Overtime Pay

Most employees in New Jersey must be paid overtime compensation for any hours they work over 40 straight time hours per week. Overtime compensation is 1-1/2 times the employee's straight time rate of pay.

Exempt from the overtime pay

  • Executive;
  • Administrative;
  • Professional;
  • Person working on a farm raising or caring for livestock;
  • Employees of a common carrier of passengers by motorbus.
Are Salaried Employees Entitled to Overtime? Not usually. Some employees are exempt from overtime, such as executive, administrative, and professional employees, as well as supervisors who are employed solely to supervise. Your actual daily job duties and what your employment contract states determine if you are eligible for overtime.
Workers Not Covered Under State Minimum Wage Law
  • Automobile salespersons;
  • Outside salespersons;
  • Part time employees primarily caring and tending for children in the home of the employer;
  • Minors under the age of 18, except for minors working in retail, food service, the first processing of farm products, beauty culture occupations, laundry, cleaning and dyeing occupations, light manufacturing and apparel occupations and hotel and motel occupations
Enforcement

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Meal Breaks

The mandatory break law only applies to minors under the age of 18 and they must be given a thirty (30) minute meal period after five (5) consecutive hours of work. Company policy dictates break and lunch periods for anyone over the age of 18.

Farm Workers Employees engaged on a piece-rate basis to labor on a farm must be paid for each day worked not less than the minimum hourly wage rate multiplied by the total number of hours worked.
Penalties

Criminal: Any employer who violates the law can be guilty of a disorderly persons violation and face a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000.

Civil:

  • Administrative penalties, up to a maximum of $250 for a first violation and up to a maximum of $500 for
    each subsequent violation.
  • The employer shall also pay the Commissioner an administrative fee equal to not less than 10% or more than 25% of any payment due to employees

Note: State employment laws are constantly changing. Please consider contacting a local employment law attorney who can help you better understand current New Jersey laws.

Have a Local Attorney Evaluate Your Wage and Hour Claim for Free

Getting paid for the work you do should go without question, but sometimes employers either make mistakes or intentially try to withhold wages. If you believe you are not being paid what you're owed, you owe it to yourself to pursue a claim. Have a New Jersey employment law attorney review your claim today, for free.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.