STATE OF NEW JERSEY
PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2020 SESSION
Senator FRED H. MADDEN, JR.
District 4 (Camden and Gloucester)
Senator DAWN MARIE ADDIEGO
District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)
Increases certain penalties for violations of wage and hour law.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Labor Committee with technical review.
An Act concerning penalties for violations of wage and hour law and amending P.L.1966, c.113.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 23 of P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a22) is amended to read as follows:
23. Any employer who willfully hinders or delays the commissioner, the director or their authorized representatives in the performance of his duties in the enforcement of [this act] the “New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law,” P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.), or fails to make, keep, and preserve any records as required under the provisions of [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.), or falsifies any such record, or refuses to make any such record accessible to the commissioner, the director or their authorized representatives upon demand, or refuses to furnish a sworn statement of such record or any other information required for the proper enforcement of [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.) to the commissioner, the director or their authorized representatives upon demand, or pays or agrees to pay wages at a rate less than the rate applicable under [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.) or any wage order issued pursuant thereto, or otherwise violates any provision of [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.) or of any regulation or order issued under [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.) shall be guilty of a disorderly persons offense and shall, upon conviction for a first violation, be punished by a fine of not less than [$100] $500 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not less than 10 nor more than 90 days or by both the fine and imprisonment and, upon conviction for a second [or subsequent] violation, be punished by a fine of not less than [$500] $1,000 nor more than [$1,000] $2,000 or by imprisonment for not less than 10 nor more than 100 days or by both the fine and imprisonment. Upon conviction for a third or subsequent violation, an employer shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and be punished by a fine of not less than $2,000 nor more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for up to 18 months or by both the fine and imprisonment. Each week, in any day of which an employee is paid less than the rate applicable to him under [this act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.) or under a minimum fair wage order, and each employee so paid, shall constitute a separate offense.
As an alternative to or in
addition to any other sanctions provided by law for violations of the "New
Jersey State Wage and Hour Law," P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.),
Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development finds that an individual has violated [that act] P.L.1966, c.113 (C.34:11-56a et seq.), the commissioner is authorized to assess and collect administrative penalties, up to a maximum of $250 for a first violation and up to a maximum of $500 for each subsequent violation, specified in a schedule of penalties to be promulgated as a rule or regulation by the commissioner in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.). When determining the amount of the penalty imposed because of a violation, the commissioner shall consider factors which include the history of previous violations by the employer, the seriousness of the violation, the good faith of the employer and the size of the employer's business. No administrative penalty shall be levied pursuant to this section unless the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development provides the alleged violator with notification of the violation and of the amount of the penalty by certified mail and an opportunity to request a hearing before the commissioner or his designee within 15 days following the receipt of the notice. If a hearing is requested, the commissioner shall issue a final order upon such hearing and a finding that a violation has occurred. If no hearing is requested, the notice shall become a final order upon expiration of the 15-day period. Payment of the penalty is due when a final order is issued or when the notice becomes a final order. Any penalty imposed pursuant to this section may be recovered with costs in a summary proceeding commenced by the commissioner pursuant to ["the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.)] the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). Any sum collected as a fine or penalty pursuant to this section shall be applied toward enforcement and administration costs of the Division of Workplace Standards in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
(cf: P.L.1991, c.205, s.5)
2. This act shall take effect immediately.