Rights of Employees
Most employees are entitled to be paid at least minimum wage in New Jersey and New York.
Unless you fall within a legal exemption from this requirement, your employer must pay you at least the minimum wage for every hour you work. For example, if you are paid by the hour, your company probably cannot ask, require, or allow you to work “off the clock,” or to work during an unpaid lunch hour or other break.What is the Current Minimum Wage?
In 2023, the minimum wage for most employees in New Jersey is $14.13 per hour. It will increase to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2024.
For employees in New York, the minimum wage in 2023 ranges between $14.20 and $15.00 per hour, depending on whether you work for a "fast food establishment," and whether you work in New York City, downstate (Westchester, Nassau or Suffolk Counties) or upstate state (any other county).
For additional information, please see our articles: New York and New Jersey Raise Minimum Wage and New York Raising Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers.
As our New Jersey minimum wage law attorneys can explain, although minimum wage requirements apply to many employees, they do not apply to everyone.
The three main categories of employees who are exempt from minimum wage law are Executive, Administrative and Professional employees. To fall into any of three categories, you have to be paid at least $455 per week and meet the following criteria:
Executive Employees: To fit into this category, an employee must (1) have primary responsibility for managing either the business or one of the company’s departments or subdivisions; (2) supervise at least two full-time employees (or the equivalent); and (3) either (a) have authority to hire or fire other employees, or (b) have significant input into decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or similar personnel decisions.
Administrative Employees: For this exemption to apply an employee’s primary job duty has to involve both (1) office work or other non-manual work directly related to managing or operating the company’s business; and (2) discretion and independent judgment about business matters.
Professional Employees: There are two subcategories of professional employees, learned professionals and creative professional.
Learned professionals: These are employees (1) whose primary job duties require advanced knowledge in a field involving scientific or learning that typically requires an advanced education; and (2) who frequently use discretion and judgment to perform their jobs.
Creative professionals: These are employees whose primary job duties require imagination, creativity, originality, invention or artistic or creative talent.
In addition, many other employees are exempt from the minimum wage requirement including certain outside sales employees, information technology professionals, farm workers who work on relatively small farms and casual babysitters, among others. You can learn more from one of our New Jersey minimum wage lawyers.
State and federal wage and hour laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the New Jersey Wage & Hour law, provide whistleblower protection. As a result, you may have a retaliation claim if you were fired, harassed, or experienced another adverse employment action because you objected to or complained about a wage and hour violation. This includes, for example, prohibiting your employer from retaliating against you because you asked it to start paying you minimum wage.
Companies that fail to pay their employees minimum wage also often violate overtime laws. Please see our overtime pay page to learn more about this important legal right.Contact Our New Jersey Minimum Wage Law Attorneys
If you have been denied minimum wage or overtime pay, or if you have experienced another violation of your wage and hour rights in New Jersey or New York, Rabner Baumgart Ben-Asher & Nirenberg, P.C. can help. Please call us at (201) 777-2250, or contact us online to schedule a meeting with an experienced New Jersey minimum wage lawyer.
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