New Jersey Wage and Hour Investigations: What you need to know

Investigators from the state Department of Labor are empowered by state law to enter and inspect workplaces, question employees, and investigate the facts of a wage complaint as they deem appropriate to determine whether there has been a violation of wage and hour laws. Investigators may question employees under oath; issue subpoenas; require the production of papers, books, accounts, records, payrolls, documents, and testimony; and take depositions and affidavits in any proceeding before the commissioner (NJ Rev. Stat. Sec. 34:11-4.9).
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Misdemeanors. Employers may be guilty of a misdemeanor offense for:
• Willfully hindering or delaying the labor department's investigation;
• Falsifying records;
• Refusing to make requested records accessible;
• Refusing to provide a sworn statement;
• Paying or agreeing to pay wages at a rate less than the applicable rate; or
• Otherwise violating any provision of New Jersey's wage and hour laws.
Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment, or both.
Administrative penalties. Administrative penalties also may be assessed against employers--up to $250 for a first violation and up to $500 for each subsequent violation. The following factors are considered when determining the penalty amount:
• History of previous violations by the employer
• Seriousness of the violation
• Good faith of the employer
• Size of the employer's business
Discharge or discrimination against employee making complaint. No employer may discharge or in any other way discriminate against an employee for making a complaint or participating in a wage and hour investigation. Such an offense is punishable by a fine of $100 to $1,000. The employer must offer to reinstate the ...

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