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Employment laws in New Jersey

All New Jersey workers are provided the many protections of state and federal laws that govern all aspects of the employer-employee relationship. Included among these protections is the right to be free from discrimination in hiring and promotions, freedom from retaliation for engaging in legally permitted employment actions, and entitlement to fair wages and humane working conditions. Although based in federal statutes, many New Jersey employment laws are more expansive and provide additional workplace safeguards as well as avenues for redress when enforcement of the laws is required.

New Jersey anti-discrimination laws protect employees based on gender identification and expression in addition to workers who are members of the protected classes set out in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Similarly, wage laws require an automatic increase any time that the federal minimum wage rate exceeds that of New Jersey. The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, commonly referred to as the whistleblower law, prohibits retaliation against workers who report illegal workplace activities and unsafe working conditions to authorities.

The Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal statute, and the New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law establishes minimum and overtime pay rates and legal workdays and workweeks. These laws also regulate the employment of younger workers. New Jersey's wage and hour laws are enforced by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Employers found to have violated federal and state wage and hours laws could be ordered to pay back wages and, in some cases, could face civil and criminal penalties.

Many workplace situations may rise to the level of violations of the employment laws summarized. This discussion of New Jersey employment laws is not intended as legal advice. Any worker who suspects that their employer is violating wage and workplace laws should consult an attorney for legal advice.

Source: Findlaw, "New Jersey Employment Laws", December 19, 2014

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