New Jersey Wage and Hour Attorneys Fight for Fair Employee Compensation
Westfield employment lawyers help enforce laws guaranteeing minimum wages and overtime pay
Federal and New Jersey state law regulate how employers must pay their workers, including compliance with minimum wage laws and overtime pay requirements. Unfortunately, these rules are sometimes overlooked or disregarded by employers. If you believe you are not being paid what you deserve, you may have a legal remedy. At Cashdan & Kane, PLLC, located in Westfield, NJ, we have decades of experience enforcing workers’ rights to fair compensation.
What can a wage and hour attorney do for me?
There are several ways in which your employer might underpay you for your services. These include:
- Violating minimum wage requirements
- Requiring you to work off-the-clock
- Failing to pay your agreed salary
- Failing to pay time and a half for overtime
- Misclassifying you as exempt from overtime or as an independent contractor
- Failing to provide a final payment when you leave your job
A wage and hour attorney can review your situation to determine if your employer committed a wage violation, can identify your legal options for handling the situation and can work to achieve the remedy you deserve. This usually starts by sending a letter calling the employer’s attention to the violation and demanding payment of the wages owed. If that doesn’t work, a wage claim can be pursued with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL)’s Division of Wage & Hour Compliance.
How do I file a wage and hour claim in New Jersey?
The NJDOL’s Division of Wage & Hour Compliance is the state governmental office tasked with policing wage violations such as these:
- Minimum wage and overtime violations
- Unpaid wages, bonuses, commissions and bonuses
- Unauthorized deductions from your pay
You must file a complaint with the division within six years after the violation occurred. This is done by completing the wage complaint form (MW-13A) and mailing or emailing it to the agency. Within 10 days after you submit your claim, the division will send you a notification acknowledging your claim and providing you a claim number. The division will review your complaint to verify that it has jurisdiction. If it does, it may ask you for additional information. It may also contact your employer. If the claim is contested, the division will schedule a hearing at which you must present evidence in support of your claim. If your claim exceeds $50,000, you will need to file a lawsuit in court. We can represent you throughout the division’s handling of your complaint and/or in a court case.
What is the Fair Labor Standards Act?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that protects the rights of employees of most companies to be fairly compensated for their work. Among other things, it requires covered employers to do the following:
- Pay employees at least the minimum wage
- Pay men and women the same amount, unless the difference is unrelated to the workers’ gender
- Pay time and a half for working longer than 40 hours a week, except for employees exempt from overtime
We will determine if your employer is covered by and complying with the FSLA and seek redress from them if they are in violation.
Overtime pay violations
Employers sometimes deprive employees of overtime pay through any of these practices:
- Miscalculating hourly wages
- Failing to count the number of hours an employee has worked (including time spent working from home or off the clock)
- Misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime
Overtime exemptions depend on how employees are classified. Employees who perform executive, administrative or professional work and earn at least $684 per week are generally exempt from overtime. But there are exacting rules that involve analyzing the employee’s duties and level of authority. Independent contractors are also exempt, but if their employers exercise too much control over their work, they might be considered employees instead. We will determine if you are being misclassified and, if so, will help you obtain the pay to which you are entitled.
Wage claims for tipped employees
Employees who earn a substantial amount of their compensation as tips, such as waiters and waitresses, aren’t required to be paid at minimum wage. But if your wages and tips don’t add up to at least the minimum wage, your employers must pay the difference. If your employer does not comply, we can file a wage complaint on your behalf and represent you in support of your claim.
Contact an experienced New Jersey wage and hour attorney to fight for you
Cashdan & Kane, PLLC provides reliable advice and representation to help New Jersey employees obtain the compensation they deserve. Please call us at 908-264-9331 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Westfield office.