Employment and Labor Laws

New Jersey

New Jersey Wage Payment Laws


Frequency of Wage Payments

Employers must pay wages to most employees at least two (2) times per calendar month on regularly scheduled paydays. Employers may pay employees who are bona fide executive, supervisory, and other special classifications less frequently than two (2) times per calendar month but at least one (1) time per calendar month.

Employers must pay wages within ten (10) days of the end of the pay period in which the wages were earned. If a regular payday falls on a non-work day, that is, a day on which the workplace of an employee is not open for business, payment must be made on the immediately preceding work day, except where it is otherwise provided for in a collective bargaining agreement.

NJ Statute 34:11-4.2; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4


Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay an employee by:

  • cash
  • check, so long as:
    • the check is redeemable for full face value without difficulty, deduction, or fee
    • the employer must pay for any fees required to cash the check
    • the employer is responsible to pay for any check-deposit-return fees, and if the employee pays the fee, the employer must reimburse for the payment without including it as wages for the employee
  • direct deposit
  • payroll card

NJ Statute 34:11-4.2; NJ Statute 34:11-4.2a; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4


Direct Deposit

An employer may pay employees their wages by direct deposit subject to the following restrictions:

  • the employee must consent in writing to being paid by direct deposit without intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal to agree to direct deposit
  • the employee’s consent to be paid by direct deposit may not be a condition of hire or continued employment
  • the employee must receive their wages without difficulty, deduction, or fee
  • the employer must provide employees each pay period a statement identifying the deductions from the employee’s wages
  • The employee must be permitted to change the method of payment after giving the employee timely notice

NJ Statute 34:11-4.2a; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4


Payroll Card

An employer may pay employees their wages by payroll card subject to the following restrictions:

  • the employer must disclose in writing to the employee:
    • each of the features of the payroll debit card (for example, withdrawal at any ATM or point-of-sale use), including any fee(s) the employee may be charged for using each of those features
    • an explanation of the specific means by which the employee may withdraw their wages
  • the employee must consent in writing to being paid by direct deposit without intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal to agree to direct deposit
  • the employee’s consent to be paid by direct deposit may not be a condition of hire or continued employment
  • the employee must receive their wages without difficulty, deduction, or fee
  • at least one occasion per pay period, the employee must be able to use the payroll card to withdraw their wages in full, in lawful money of the United States, without any fee to the employee and without difficulty
  • the employer must provide employees each pay period a statement identifying the deductions from the employee’s wages
  • The employee must be permitted to change the method of payment after giving the employee timely notice

NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4


Payment upon Separation from Employment

An employer must pay employees separated from employment for any reason, e.g. discharge, termination, quit, resign, layoff, or labor dispute, not later than the regular payday for the pay period during which the separation from employment occurred.

In the case of employees compensated in part or in full by an incentive system, an employer must pay a reasonable approximation of all wages due, until the exact amounts due can be computed.

When any employee is suspended as a result of a labor dispute and such labor dispute involves those employees who process the payroll, the employer may have an additional ten (10) days in which to pay wages.

Payment of wages to employees separated from employment may be made either through the regular pay channels or by mail if requested by the employee.

NJ Statute 34:11-4.3; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.4


Wages in Dispute

In the case of a dispute over the amount of wages between an employer and employee, the employer must timely pay, without condition, all wages, or parts thereof, conceded by him to be due, leaving to the employee all remedies to which he might otherwise be entitled as to any balance claimed. The acceptance by an employee of a payment of uncontested wages does not constitute a release as to the balance of any claim and any release required by an employer as a condition to payment is null and void. NJ Statute 34:11-4.8


Deductions from Wages

An employer may not withhold, deduct, or divert any portion of an employee’s wages for:

  • cash shortages
  • breakage, damage, or loss of the employer’s property
  • purchase of required uniforms or clothing (employers may deduct, with the employee’s consent, for the rental and cleaning of required uniforms or clothing)
  • required tools
  • other items necessary for employment

An employer may not withhold, deduct, or divert any portion of an employee’s wages, unless:

  • The employer is required or empowered to do so by New Jersey or United States law; or
  • The amounts withheld or diverted are for:
    • Contributions authorized either in writing by employees, or under a collective bargaining agreement, to employee welfare, insurance, hospitalization, medical or surgical or both, pension, retirement, and profit-sharing plans, and to plans establishing individual retirement annuities on a group or individual basis, or individual retirement accounts at any State or federally chartered bank, savings bank, or savings and loan association for the employee, his spouse or both.
    • Contributions authorized either in writing by employees, or under a collective bargaining agreement, for payment into company-operated thrift plans; or security option or security purchase plans to buy securities of the employing corporation, an affiliated corporation, or other corporations at market price or less, provided such securities are listed on a stock exchange or are marketable over the counter.
    • Payments authorized by employees for payment into employee personal savings accounts, such as payments to a credit union, savings fund society, savings and loan or building and loan association; and payments to banks for Christmas, vacation, or other savings funds; provided all such deductions are approved by the employer.
    • Payments for company products purchased in accordance with a periodic payment schedule contained in the original purchase agreement; payments for employer loans to employees, in accordance with a periodic payment schedule contained in the original loan agreement; payments for safety equipment; payments for the purchase of United States Government bonds; and payments to correct payroll errors; provided all such deductions are approved by the employer.
    • Contributions authorized by employees for organized and generally recognized charities; provided the deductions for such contributions are approved by the employer.
    • Payments authorized by employees or their collective bargaining agents for the rental of work clothing or uniforms or for the laundering or dry cleaning of work clothing or uniforms; provided the deductions for such payments are approved by the employer.
    • Labor organization dues and initiation fees, and such other labor organization charges permitted by law.
    • Contributions authorized in writing by employees, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, to a political committee, continuing political committee, or both, established by the employees’ labor union for the purpose of making contributions to aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for a public office of the State or of a county, municipality or school district or the passage or defeat of any public question.
    • Contributions authorized in writing by employees to any political committee or continuing political committee, other than a committee provided for in paragraph (8), for the purpose of making contributions to aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate for a public office of the State or of a county, municipality or school district or the passage or defeat of any public question; in making a payroll deduction pursuant to this paragraph the administrative expenses incurred by the employer shall be borne by such committee, at the option of the employer.
    • Payments authorized by employees for employer-sponsored programs for the purchase of insurance or annuities on a group or individual basis, if otherwise permitted by law.
    • Mass transportation commuter tickets if in writing by employees or in a collective bargaining agreement and this method of payment for mass transportation commuter tickets is available to all employees.
    • The actual transportation to a work site if in writing by employees or in a collective bargaining agreement and the employer does not profit from the employees from providing the transportation service.

NJ Statute 34:11-4.4; NJ Admin. Code 12:55-2.1, 2.2


Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

An employer must pay for the cost of a uniform if the uniform is not appropriate for street wear or use at another establishment. If the employer requires an employee to wear a particular type of clothing which is appropriate for street wear, the employer who requires an employee to furnish more than one style, type or color of clothing during any one year of his or her employment must pay to each employee, in addition to his or her regular wages otherwise due, the amount the employee is required to pay for newly required uniform or uniforms and the additional payment must be made to the employee in the week in which the change is required. Maintenance and upkeep of uniforms of kitchen people, cooks, and dishwashers must be provided and maintained by the employer.

If the employee pays for a uniform in cash and the cash payment brings the employee below the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference for the minimum wage for that week.

NJ Admin. Code 12:56-17.1

An employer cannot deduct the cost of tools and other equipment necessary for employment from an employee’s wages. NJ Statute 34:11-4.4


Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

An employer may not require an employee or applicant to pay the cost of any medical examination conducted at the request or direction of the employer, by a physician designated by the employer, as a condition of entering or continuing employment, and in the event that the employee or prospective employee pays for any such medical examination, the employer or prospective employer must reimburse the employee or applicant for the amount of paid for the examination. NJ Statute 34:11-24.1


Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must give an employee advance notice of a reduction in his or her wage rate. The reduction cannot be made retroactively for any time worked. Also, the reduction cannot bring the rate of pay below minimum wage. NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev. FAQs


Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

New Jersey minimum wage laws require employers to provide employees with a statement of wages each time they are paid listing the gross and net wages and all individually itemized deductions. The state can be provided electronically or in hard copy. NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev. FAQs


Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must keep for at least six (6) years records which contain:

  • the name and address of each employee,
  • the birth date if under the age of eighteen (18),
  • the total hours worked each day and each workweek,
  • earnings, including the regular hourly wage,
  • gross to net amounts with itemized deductions, and
  • the basis on which wages are paid.

NJ Admin. Code 12:56-4.1


Notice Requirements

New Jersey wage and hour laws require employers to provide current and newly hired employees a written copy of the statement from the NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev. that provides employees with information about state wage and hour laws and an explanation of how to file a claim or tack an action pursuant to those laws. NJ Statute 34:11-58.3; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev. FAQs


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