What Should You Do if You Suspect Wage Theft by Your Employer in New Jersey?
Posted November 3rd, 2023.
Categories: Employment Law.
If you suspect that your employer has been paying you less than was agreed to, New Jersey offers you several ways to be compensated for your loss. Keep reading to learn about how you can pursue restitution. If you find yourself struggling with what to do after wage theft, our experienced lawyers are determined to fight for you. Get in touch with a Camden County employment law attorney.
What Is Wage Theft?
Employers are responsible for paying employees not only for all the hours they have worked, but also for overtime work and bonuses earned. Employers are also prohibited from (1) making deductions from an employee’s wages without that employee’s prior agreement and (2) paying less than the minimum wage.
Employers do make errors, sometimes by complete accident, other times maliciously and with the intent to rob their employees. Such wrongful actions include averaging an employee’s hours over two weeks, requiring employees to work through unpaid meal breaks, stealing an employee’s tips, or refusing to pay an employee overtime.
What Can I Do if I Become Subject to Wage Theft in New Jersey?
Compared to other states, New Jersey gives you a few more options to pursue recovery. Here are some routes you can choose:
- Visit nj.gov’s online portal and submit a complaint online to New Jersey’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance.
- Submit the same complaint to the same Division, but by mail. If you would like to lodge a complaint about underpaid or unpaid wages, you will need to submit the MW-31A (English form) or the MW-31S (Spanish form).
- You are also allowed to file anonymously. This does have the drawback that neither you nor your employer will be contacted, unless there is a resolution with your employer and they send you wages as a part of said resolution. Furthermore, no one (yourself included) would be allowed to ask about the status of an anonymous complaint.
- You may file a civil lawsuit if you believe you were owed payment and did not receive it. The civil suit option is open to you regardless of any criminal charges filed or not filed for this case.
By reporting unpaid wages, you will make sure that the state labor department investigates your complaint. This can lead to criminal charges against your employer, depending on the results of the state’s investigation.
Contact Us Today
Don’t let yourself be cheated out of what you have earned. If you believe your boss has been using sneaky tactics to avoid paying your wages, call us as soon as you can. We’ll work hard to get you the wages you are owed.