As a New Jersey employer, you are subject to some of the most aggressive employee-protection laws in the country. It is vital that you understand your rights and responsibilities in order to protect yourself from a potential lawsuit over wage & hour or employee misclassification violations. A key responsibility you have is to keep detailed records on each employee for a period of six years.
Information You Must Keep on Each Employee
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, you are required to collect, maintain, and report specific information on each of your hourly workers. That includes:
- Name, address, and birthdate (if under the age of 18) of each employee
- Total hours worked by the employee each day and each workweek
- Earnings of each employee, including hourly wage and gross to net amounts with itemized deductions
- Total gratuities received by tipped employees during the payroll week
- Detailed records on employees who receive food and/or lodging from their employer
Employers must use a complete and accurate method of timekeeping and keep these records at the place of employment or in a central office for a period of six years, regardless of the continued employment of individuals.
The Wage Theft Act Has Some Serious Teeth
The Wage Theft Act (WTA) that went into effect in August of 2019 substantially increased the amount of time employees have to file a complaint and set harsher penalties for employers who violate wage & hour rules. Key provisions of the WTA include:
- The statute of limitations is six years, which explains why you need to keep employee payroll records for six years.
- Imposition of treble damages on top of payment of wages owed.
- A failure to maintain and produce records upon request is enough to charge an employer with a violation.
- Employers are required to provide notice to employees of their rights under New Jersey wage and hour laws.
Understanding the law and keeping accurate records are essential steps to take to protect your business from an employee lawsuit.
Talk to a Wage & Hour Defense Attorney
New Jersey wage & hour laws are tough, and there is no doubt that they favor employees. As an employer in New Jersey, you would be wise to audit your payroll practices and consult an attorney who defends companies accused of violations. Reach out to Steinberg Law to discuss your payroll recordkeeping or any other employment law issue. Fill out our contact form or call our Somerville office at 908-685-0600.