The Division of Wage and Hour Compliance is a division of the New Jersey Labor and Workforce Department (LWD). This division enforces state labor laws and investigates whether said laws are being broken. There are laws in the state that protect workers. If you ever feel that your employer is violating any laws regarding their treatment of you, you need to know your rights as an employee.
Filing a Claim with Wage and Hour
Filing a claim with Wage and Hour lets them know that something needs to be investigated and shows them what they need to look for. You can file a claim with them through the mail or online. The form contains questions and instructions that provide guidance for what to say and do.
You can only file a claim for offenses that fall under Wage and Hour jurisdiction. This includes unpaid wages, underpaying, not giving overtime, child labor, and termination over wage complaints to list a few. Any offenses that the division cannot cover should be redirected to the appropriate channels – for example, reporting discrimination is better suited for the Division on Civil Rights.
If you wish to file your claim anonymously, you can write “Anonymous” in the name section and not include an address. However, unless Wage and Hour reaches a resolution with your employer that involves sending previously unpaid wages, you will not receive any updates on your claim. That said, if you do include your name in the form, your employer can request access to related information per the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).
After Filing the Claim
After you file the claim, Wage and Hour will first check if they have jurisdiction over your case. If they see that they do not, they will send you a notice that explains what happened. If they see that they do, they will conduct their investigation by either by mailing the employer, sending someone to investigate the workplace, or scheduling a Wage Collection Proceeding. This is a session of legal arbitration for employer/employee conflicts over wages (specifically cash amounts totaling $30,000 or less).
The investigation may take several months, during which you can check on the status of your claim for updates (provided that you did not submit it anonymously). If Wage and Hour find that you are owed money, they will inform both you and your employer, so that required payments can be sent to you. If the division sees that you do not need to be paid, you will receive a letter saying so and can then continue pursuing your claim through a Wage Collection Proceeding.
If your situation comes to the point of legal arbitration, you have the right to legal representation by an attorney. Hire attorneys who are experienced with New Jersey labor law and employee rights. The New Jersey employment law attorneys at the Law Offices of James C. Dezao, P.A. can help you with any matters related to wages or your rights as an employee and will fight for the compensation that you are owed. For more information about New Jersey employment law, call Dezao Law today at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.