new jersey overtime pay laws

What Are New Jersey’s Overtime Pay Laws?

By Thomas McKinney

Everyone employee has the right to be fairly and properly compensated for his or her work. This is true for New Jersey job holders as it is for those employed across the U.S. In fact, there are both state and federal laws in place to help ensure that employees in New Jersey are properly compensated. This includes being properly compensated for overtime work.

What are New Jersey’s Overtime Pay Laws?

Many times, a worker may be entitled to receive overtime pay. Overtime pay is pay at a rate of time and a half times regular pay when the employee works over 40 hours in one work week. While the right to receive overtime pay will depend on things such as your job duties as well as the type of business in which you work, many, if not most, employees have rights pertaining to overtime pay and this applies equally to hourly workers as well as salaried employees.

In New Jersey, NJSA Section 34:11-56a4 includes the state’s overtime law. On the federal level, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 provides for the right of workers to overtime compensation. This federal act was put in place to provide minimum standards for how employees in the U.S. deserve to be treated by their employers. Not only do these laws work together in order to define the parameters regarding workers’ rights regarding overtime compensation, but they also set forth how overtime pay is to be calculated.

Before going further, however, it should be noted that not all employees are entitled to overtime pay. These employees are referred to as “exempt” employees. This means that the exempt employees are exempt from the overtime pay requirements put in place by state and federal law. New Jersey allies all exemptions to the overtime pay requirements set forth at the federal level. The list of exemptions can be found listed within the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Exempt employees, those not entitled to overtime pay, include:

  • Most railroad workers
  • Most truck drivers
  • Outside sales
  • Supervisory employees that have management as a primary duty

For those nonexempt employees who are entitled to overtime pay when working more than 40 hours in a workweek, the method of calculating the correct overtime pay amount will vary depending on how the worker is compensated. For instance, hourly workers have overtime pay calculated as time and one-half the regularly hourly rate for every hour worked over 40 hours in the work week. Those employees who receive hourly compensation in addition to commissions or bonuses have overtime pay calculated slightly differently. First, the regular wage rate is calculated. The regular rate is the total hours worked times the hourly rate plus the workweek equivalent of bonuses or commission, divided by the total hours in the work week. The overtime pay is then calculated as have the regular rate for every hour worked over 40 hours in the workweek. If an employee is a salaried employee, the regular rate is set at the person’s salary divided by the number of hours the salary is intended to cover in terms of compensation. If the salaried employee works less than 40 hours a week, then the overtime pay rate is totaled by adding the regular rate for every hour up to 40 hours and then pay time and a half for hours worked over 40.

New Jersey Employment Law Attorneys

Do you have questions about whether or not you are being properly compensated for overtime work? Get sound legal counsel from the knowledgeable employment law attorneys at Castronovo & McKinney. Contact us today.

About the Author
Tom McKinney is an experienced NJ Employment Lawyer in all major areas of labor and employment law, including discrimination, harassment, overtime violations, wage and hour claims, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, Title VII, ADA, ADEA, FMLA, LAD, FLSA, and all other employment law claims. Tom is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, District of New Jersey, and United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Prior to forming the firm, Tom practiced at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, NJ. If you have any questions regarding this article, contact Tom here today.