In New Jersey, each county sets its prevailing wage rate. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development makes what is called a “wage determination.” This means it decides what the prevailing wage and benefit rates for each type of worker in each location will be for a set time period.
For some projects, e.g. highways, federal and state rules apply. In those instances, employers must pay the higher of the two rates. The prevailing wage that is in effect at the time the project starts is the one that applies; however, employers are required to pay any pre-determined rate increases when they take effect.
- $2,000, total, if work will be done for, or on, non-municipal property; or
- $14,187, total, if work will be done for, or on, municipal property; or
- $50,000 total cost (maintenance & repair).
When Wage Are Set
Unions determine wage increases in New Jersey. These increases may happen multiple times in a single year – or once every five years.
Overtime depends on the trade involved. In general, overtime pay is one-and-a-half times the standard rate for work done Monday through Saturday. Sunday is double time. If a wage determination says that overtime is “inclusive of benefits,” that means the benefits are increased at the same rate as wages for overtime.
In New Jersey, different trades recognize different holidays. Usually, the holiday pay rate is double time. The following are examples of holidays observed:
- Labor Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Presidents’ day
- Veterans Day
- New Year’s Eve and Day
Workers must enroll in an apprenticeship program approved by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training to be considered an “apprentice.” Once this is done, they receive the Journeyman rate, at a minimum.
If a contractor violate New Jersey prevailing wage laws, it may have to pay a variety of penalties and fees. In addition, the company may no longer be allowed to participate in future public works projects.
Our New Jersey wage and hour attorneys have experience litigating claims against employers who have wrongfully denied employees prevailing wages. If you believe your employer has failed to pay you in accordance with the law, please call us at (973) 509-8500 to schedule a consultation.