7 Labor Law Violations Every Food and Beverages Worker Needs to Know

Employees who work in the food and beverages industry should know a few key points about the New Jersey labor laws to protect their interests. The seven points below cover some of the most common labor law violations in New Jersey. If you believe your rights have been violated, contact John J. Zidziunas and Associates at 973-509-8500. Our dedicated New Jersey labor law attorneys can help.

1. Employers Must Pay the Minimum Wage

The New Jersey minimum wage is $8.38 per hour and employers are obligated to pay at least this amount to all employees. For tipped employees, this calculation can get a little complicated because the tips earned must be factored in. In New Jersey, your combined wage and tips must work out to at least $8.38 per hour or your employer must make up the difference. For instance, if you work a three hour shift but you only receive $9 in tips, your employer would be required to pay you $16.14 to account for the difference. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development “suggests” a minimum wage of $2.13 (the federal rate), but it also states that the wage rate for tipped employees may be set by the employer.

2. Tip Sharing

Employees can’t be required to share their tips with workers who don’t normally receive tips, like cooks and dishwashers. And the employer is not allowed to take a cut of the tip share.

3. Cannot Waive Overtime

Some employees are not entitled to overtime pay but tipped employees do not fall into this category. As a tipped employee you are entitled to overtime pay. You and your employer cannot mutually agree to waive the overtime pay law. If you work more than 40 hours per week, you are entitled to time and a half pay (overtime).

4. Retaliatory Action

The New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (Whistleblower Act) protects a worker who reports illegal or unethical workplace activities. This Act prohibits employers from taking retaliatory action against an employee for reporting these types of violations.

5. Dual Jobs

When an employee works as a tipped employee and a non-tipped employee, the employer must pay the employee the full minimum wage for the non-tipped work. For instance, if you work as both a food prep worker (non-tipped) and a waitress (tipped) you must be paid the minimum wage for the hours you work on the food prep line.

6. Discriminatory Termination

If you feel that you’ve been wrongfully terminated or discriminated against in the workplace, call our labor law attorneys in New Jersey today. Generally, if the discrimination or wrongful termination was based upon your race, religion, disability, sex, or some other protected characteristic, you may have a claim.

7. Statute of Limitations on Wage and Overtime Violations

If you believe your employer owes you unpaid wages or unpaid overtime, you must speak with an attorney immediately as the statute of limitations on these claims is 2 years in New Jersey. Since every case is different, contact an experienced labor law attorney today for more information about your situation.

Contact John J. Zidziunas & Associates

If you need help with any of these violations, or if you have any questions regarding these violations, please call the John J. Zidziunas & Associates today.

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