ASSEMBLY, No. 154

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2014 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  PARKER SPACE

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Assemblywoman  ALISON LITTELL MCHOSE

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

Assemblyman  WAYNE P. DEANGELO

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

Assemblyman  JAY WEBBER

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Handlin

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywomen Handlin and Phoebus

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns alternate methods of wage payment.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning alternate methods of wage payment and amending P.L.1975, c.143.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.1975, c.143 (C.34:11-4.2a) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a.  In lieu of paying wages directly to employees as provided by section 2 of P.L.1965, c. 173 [, s. 2] (C. 34:11-4.2), an employer may, with the prior written consent of [some or all his] any employees [, arrange]:

     (1)   Arrange with a financial institution or financial institutions to pay the wages of each consenting employee [so consenting] by causing the amount of [such] the employee's wages to be deposited in an account maintained in any [such] financial institution in the name of [such] the employee, subject to withdrawal and other disposition by [such] the employee to the same extent and in the same manner as if [such] the deposit were made directly by [such] the employee [. Any such], so long as any employee who has consented to that deposit may, [on] upon timely notice to the employer, elect [not] to no longer have his wages deposited as provided [herein] in this paragraph, and to be paid [such] those wages directly in [the] a manner otherwise provided by law [. Financial institution as used herein] ; or

     (2)   Arrange with one or more financial institutions to pay the wages of each consenting employee by causing the amount of the employee's wages to be deposited in a payroll debit card maintained by a financial institution in the name of the employee, subject to withdrawal and other disposition by the employee to the same extent and in the same manner as if the deposit were made directly by the employee, so long as any employee who has consented to that deposit may, upon timely notice to the employer, elect to no longer have his wages deposited as provided in this paragraph, and to be paid those wages directly in a manner otherwise provided by law.

     b.    Any employee whose wages are deposited in an account or payroll debit card pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall be furnished by the employer with a statement for each pay period of the total wages paid and the amount of each deduction made from those wages. An employer requesting consent from an employee for wage payment by deposit in an account or by payroll debit card
pursuant to any arrangement permitted by subsection a. of this section:

     (1)   Shall not use any form of intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal for refusal to accept the arrangement;

     (2)   Shall not make the acceptance of the arrangement a condition for hiring or continued employment; and

     (3)   Shall, in the case of a payroll debit card, provide in advance to the employee written disclosure of features of the payroll debit card, such as any point-of-sale use or withdrawal at automated teller machines, including any fees which may be charged to the payroll debit card holder for the use of those features. The written disclosure required by this paragraph shall also include an explanation of the specific means by which the employee may, on at least one occasion per pay period, use the payroll debit card to withdraw his or her wages in full, in lawful money of the United States, without any fee to the employee and without difficulty.

     c.     As used in this section:

     “Financial institution” means any State-chartered or Federally-chartered institution authorized to accept deposits in New Jersey;

     “Payroll debit card” means a card issued by a financial institution to provide an employee with the means of obtaining the full amount of all wages earned in a pay period in a form that is equivalent to payment in lawful money of the United States, payment by check or payment by direct deposit.

(cf: P.L.1975, c.143, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill amends the current wage payment law to permit an employer to arrange for the payment of wages by deposit in a payroll debit card account. Currently, payment of wages by payroll debit card is allowed by regulations promulgated by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This bill codifies those regulations in the wage payment law and imposes the following standards on the payment of wages both by payroll debit card, as provided in current regulations, and by direct deposit into an employee account, which is permitted by current statutory language:

     1.    The employer is required to obtain prior written consent from the employee without any form of intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal, and is prohibited from making the acceptance of the arrangement a condition for hiring or continued employment;

     2.    The employer is required, when seeking consent for use of a payroll debit card, to disclose in writing features of the card, such as any point-of-sale use or withdrawal at automated teller machines, including any fees which may be charged to the payroll debit card holder for the use of those features;

     3.    The employer is required to provide written disclosure explaining the specific means by which the employee may, on at least one occasion per pay period, use the payroll debit card to withdraw his or her wages in full, in lawful money of the United States, without any fee to the employee and without difficulty;

     4.    The employer is required to furnish to the employee a statement for each pay period of the total wages paid and the amount of each deduction made from those wages; and

     5.    The employee may, upon timely notice to the employer, elect to stop having his wages paid through payroll debit card, in the same manner that current law permits the employee to elect to stop direct deposit of his wages, and choose another method of wage payment established by law.

     An employee may file a wage complaint with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development if the employee believes their employer has improperly paid wages. An employer who violates the wage payment law is subject to an administrative penalty not more than $250 for the first violation, and not more than $500 for a second or any subsequent violation. Also, an employer that willfully and knowingly violates the wage payment law is guilty of a disorderly persons offense punishable by a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000.