NJDOL Targeting Industries with History of Pay and Misclassification Violations In New Strategic Enforcement Effort

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November 30, 2022 | By: Lisa I. Fried-Grodin, Esq.

The New Jersey Department of Labor has launched what it describes as a proactive, data-driven enforcement initiative aimed at stopping employers in industries with a history of violating the state’s wage and hour laws.  Its stated goal is to have a lasting impact on specific industries to ensure that employees are paid on the books with all wages, paid family and sick leave owed to them, and that they are properly classified as employees and not as independent contractors.  The agency’s first targeted industries are multi-unit residential construction and commercial laundromats.

In a press release, https://www.nj.gov/labor/lwdhome/press/2022/20221129_wageandhour.shtml the NJDOL said it picked these two industries to focus on first because “worker misclassification has become embedded” in the residential construction industry and commercial laundromats “predominantly employ women immigrants, who are often fearful of reporting wage theft and other workplace violations”.  Although the agency has not yet revealed many details of this new compliance effort, it did say that it is designed to be a data-driven approach that will go beyond complaint-driven enforcement activities, by using the resources of the NJDOL’s enforcement power, partnering with other  government agencies, and engaging in targeted communications with employers, workers, and industry and community stakeholders. 

This new initiative comes on the heels of the agency recently hiring a significant number of new agents in both the wage and hour divisions and division of Employer Accounts to conduct both random and complaint-driven audits.

If you are an employer or employee in New Jersey with questions about pay and employee classifications,  contact Fried-Grodin Employment Law.