In December 2012, the Assembly introduced and then approved a bill (A3581), which would significantly increase the penalties imposed on employers for failure to pay wages or benefits. If enacted, the bill would provide for the following penalties for violations of the wage payment law: (1) temporary or permanent revocation of the employer’s business licenses; (2) liquidated double damages for unpaid wages; (3) fines of $500 plus a penalty equal to 20 percent of unpaid wages for the employer’s first offense, and fines of $1,000 plus 20 percent of unpaid wages for any subsequent offense; and (4) criminal liability, in the form of a conviction of a disorderly persons offense, for retaliating against an employee for filing a complaint under the statute. The bill would also extend criminal liability for failure to pay wages, compensation, or benefits to agents of employers.

In addition, the bill would create a process for an aggrieved employee to file a citizen’s complaint against his or her employer in municipal court, and would establish a rebuttable presumption that a person earning less than two-thirds of the median hourly wage of the state is an employee, rather than an independent contractor.

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Employment Law

Ogletree Deakins’ employment lawyers are experienced in all aspects of employment law, from day-to-day advice to complex employment litigation.

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Practice Group

Wage and Hour

Ogletree Deakins’ Wage and Hour Practice Group features attorneys who are experienced in advising and representing employers in a wide range of wage and hour issues, and who are located in Ogletree Deakins’ offices across the country.

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