New Jersey Workers, Advocates Celebrate Passage of Landmark
Anti-Wage Theft Legislation
A2903/S1790 Catapults New Jersey to One of the Strongest Wage and Hour laws in the Country in Advance of the July 1st Minimum Wage Hike
(Trenton, NJ) June 27, 2019: Today, both houses of the New Jersey State legislature passed a landmark anti-wage theft bill (A-2903 / S-1790), sending the legislation to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk. When signed into law, New Jersey’s wage and hour protections will be among the strongest in the country, just in time for the state’s minimum wage hike this July 1st.
The legislation enhances enforcement of state wage and hour laws, ensuring that workers are paid according to the law. Under the legislation, employers that violate wage and hour laws by not paying minimum wage, overtime or failing to pay for hours worked could liable for treble damages and fines. The bill also extends the statute of limitations from two to six years, strengthens joint employer liability where firms use subcontractors, and strengthens anti-retaliation provisions to protect employees who speak out against wage and hour violations.
“For low wage workers, like myself, passing the anti-wage theft bill has been just as important as increasing the minimum wage, because it means workers will actually receive the pay we have rightfully earned. Unscrupulous employers will no longer be rewarded by our laws for not paying workers. On behalf of Make the Road New Jersey, I would like to express our gratitude to Assemblywoman Quijano and Senator Weinberg for their years of commitment to ensuring the anti-wage theft bill becomes law” said Roberto Sanchez, a member of Make the Road New Jersey, a community-based immigrant and workers rights organization based in Elizabeth and Passaic.
“After years of advocacy, we are thrilled that New Jersey will have one of the strongest anti-wage theft law in the nation to protect workers against wage theft while creating a level playing field for employers that do right by their workers,” said Reynalda Cruz, a leader of New Labor, a workers’ center in based in Newark, New Brunswick, and Lakewood.
New Jersey has long lagged behind in wage and hour protections for workers. A report released just days ago by the National Employment Law Project placed New Jersey in the lowest “third tier” in terms of enforcement protections against wage theft. This legislation will now place our state at the top of the list.
Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant and working class communities in New Jersey to achieve dignity and justice through community organizing, legal and support services, transformative education and policy innovation.
New Labor is an organization that educates, organizes and fights for better work conditions and social justice in the workplace. With around 4,000 members forming its base, New Labor organizes to develop power and amplify our members’ voices in the community, and the workplace.