What is the minimum wage in New Jersey?

The minimum wage is the minimum hourly amount employers are required to pay their employees by law. While employers can pay more than minimum wage, they cannot pay anything less than minimum wage. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, but every state is allowed to set its own.

New Jersey’s minimum wage is currently set at $14.13 an hour. Most employees are entitled to the minimum hourly wage, with some exceptions. Some exempt occupations, like tipped workers, can legally be paid less than minimum wage.

How many hours is considered full-time in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, an employee is considered to be full-time if they work 25 or more hours per work week. Anything less than this is viewed as a part-time employment arrangement.

Usually, full-time employees are entitled to benefits for which part-time employees may not be eligible.

Are employers required to pay overtime?

Yes, employers must pay employees overtime if they are eligible for overtime pay. Overtime is earned for every hour past a regular, 40-hour work week. Overtime pay is one and one-half of your regular hourly salary. For example, if you make $20 an hour, half is $10, so you’d be entitled to $30 an hour for overtime hours.

Who is eligible for overtime pay? Are there exemptions?

In general, employees who earn $455 a week or less and who are non-exempt are entitled to receive overtime pay.

Some workers are not legally required to receive overtime pay, including:

  • Truck drivers
  • Railroad employees
  • Individuals that work in sales
  • Independent contractors
  • Agricultural or farm workers
  • Some live-in employees

Additionally, overtime pay depends on your position. Certain professional, executive, or administrative positions are not eligible to receive overtime pay.

In order to determine whether you’re eligible to receive overtime pay, the Fair Labor Standards Act sets forth some tests to determine eligibility based on specific details, including pay rate, skill level, and working conditions, among other things.

Can an employer cut my pay?

Typically, your employer’s ability to cut your pay depends on the status and details of your employment.

If you’re an at-will employee, your employer is allowed to take certain actions, like reducing your pay. As long as your employer doesn’t cut your pay while violating any laws, like discrimination laws, they are generally allowed to do so.

However, employees are not considered at-will employees if they have an existing and valid employment contract. If you have an employment contract, your employer must respect the terms of the contract.

Therefore, absent any terms that make it acceptable to cut your pay, your employer is not allowed to reduce your wages. If they do, they’d be in breach of the contract, which could result in legal trouble.

Is it illegal for my employer to not pay wages on time?

Yes, under the law, employers must pay employees on time every time. Under employment law in New Jersey, employers must pay employees at least twice a month, and payments must be made in full based on the employee’s salary or earned wages.

Can my employer withhold my wages?

It is never legally acceptable for employers to withhold wages from an employee for any reason. Unfortunately, many employers do withhold wages and get away with it, knowing their employees will not argue or complain.

Employers withhold wages for many reasons, such as negative financial circumstances, retaliation against the employee for their conduct, or as a way to “discipline” the employee.

If you’re not paid on time and in full, do not hesitate to speak up.

Are employers required to provide meal and rest breaks?

Many states have laws regarding meal and rest breaks, but New Jersey has none. Therefore, employers are not required to provide employees with breaks. However, this does not mean you won’t get any breaks throughout the day; most employers provide a certain amount of time for lunch, for example.

It is best to get your breaks written into your employment contract, as valid contracts are legally enforceable.