New Jersey Wage Payment Laws
- Frequency of wage payments
- Manner of wage payments
- Direct deposit
- Payment upon separation from employment
- Wage in dispute
- Deductions from wages
- Uniforms, tools, and other equipment necessary for employment
- Pre-hire medical, physical, or drug tests
- Notice of wage reduction
- Statement of wages (pay stubs)
- Record keeping requirements
- Notice requirements
Frequency of Wage Payments
An employer must pay wages at least two (2) times per month on regularly scheduled paydays. An employer 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. New Jersey Stat. 34:11-4.2
Manner of Wage Payments
An employer may pay an employee by:
- check redeemable for full face value without deduction or fee
- direct deposit, only with the employee’s consent
An employer may pay wages by direct deposit, however, it must have the written consent of an employee to do so. New Jersey Stat. 34:11-4.2a
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.
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. New Jersey Stat. 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.
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.
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. New Jersey Stat. 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 does not have any laws requiring employers to provide employees at the time of payment any notice of wages paid, wage rates, deductions, or other wage payment information.
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.
New Jersey does not have any laws requiring employers to provide employees, whether at hire or at any other time, of notice of wage rates, dates of pay, employment policies, fringe benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment.