Oct 28, 2019
Wage payment regulation in effect
Last month, the New Jersey Department of Labor finalized regulations to implement N.J.S.A. 34:1a-1.11 et seq., which authorizes the commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to issue a written determination to direct any appropriate agency to suspend or revoke certain business licenses for violation of wage and hour reporting requirements.
The law (N.J.S.A. 34:1a-1.11 et seq.), which was passed 10 years ago, grants the NJDOL commissioner the authority to direct any appropriate agency to suspend or revoke any one or more licenses that are held by an employer that has failed to maintain and report a record(s) regarding wages, benefits and taxes that the employer is required to maintain or report under state wage, benefit, and tax laws, and in connection with that failure, has failed to pay wages, benefits, taxes or other contributions or assessments as required by the state wage, benefit and tax laws. It was intended to address employers that pay off the books to deliberately evade wage and hour requirements.
However, through this new regulation, the NJDOL is expanding the scope of the law. Under the regulation, the NJDOL could not only revoke a business license as authorized by the statute, but a professional license as well. This precludes someone from not only owning a business, but from even working as a licensed professional. In addition, while the original intent of the law was to address the intentional evasion of paying wages, this regulation penalizes businesses that made mere errors in wage and hour compliance, without any intent to evade reporting or payment. These businesses are subject to the same business or professional license revocation as employers that willfully and intentional evade wage payment and reporting requirements.
The regulation went into effect Sept. 16, 2019.