When you work for an employer, many different laws on the federal and state levels provide many different rights. An employer can yield a significant amount of power over employees who rely on that income to support themselves. For this reason, the law protects employees from employers who may try to take advantage of them in some way. New Jersey employment law covers many different aspects of employment and the following is a brief description of relevant employment laws.
Wages and hours – Employees deserve to be paid properly for their work and the law requires that every employee receives at least a basic minimum wage for every hour they work. Currently, the minimum hourly wage in New Jersey is $8.38 per hour, though lawmakers are fighting to increase that wage in coming years. In addition, if you work more than 40 hours in a week, you may be entitled to an overtime rate of 1.5 times your usual hourly pay. Overtime eligibility can be complex and is set out in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Anti-discrimination – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces many different laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on certain protected factors. In addition, the NJ Law Against Discrimination (LAD) provides additional protections. Discrimination, harassment, and retaliation are prohibited based on the following:
- National origin
- Marital status
- Gender identity or expression
- Sexual orientation
- Genetic information
Discrimination is prohibited from the application and hiring process and throughout the employment relationship.
Health and safety – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces many regulations and standards intended to keep workers safe and healthy. Employers have the duty to provide a safe workplace and to take any needed safety precautions that are specific to a certain industry. Employers can face civil penalties and liability for violations.
Wrongful termination – While New Jersey is an at-will employment state, your employer cannot terminate you for reasons that are unlawful or that violate public policy. Some such reasons include:
- Discriminatory or retaliatory reasons
- Engaging in protected behavior (such as reporting illegal practices of your employer)
- Participating in jury duty or voting
- Serving active duty in the military
Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.
If you believe that your employer has violated any law, you should discuss your situation with an experienced New Jersey employment law attorney as soon as possible. Call David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law in New Jersey for help today.