TRENTON, NJ -- Workers will no longer need to worry about wage theft under a new law signed on Tuesday by Acting Governor Sheila Oliver to enhance enforcement of New Jersey's wage and hour law. The measure holds employers accountable for unpaid wages, benefits, or overtime through increased damages and fines.
It also will make victims of wage theft eligible to receive both the wages owed and liquidated damages of 200 percent of wages owed.
"We must ensure that every hardworking individual in New Jersey receives the wages they worked hard to earn," said Oliver. "I am proud to sign this legislation that will protect the rights of workers, furthering the Murphy-Oliver Administration's commitment to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey through protecting the right to earn a fair wage."
The law is sponsored by Hamilton and Robbinsville's legislative representatives Senator Linda Greenstein and Assemblymembers Wayne DeAngelo. Assemblyman Dan Benson was a co-sponsor.
"The unscrupulous employers robbing the hard working people of New Jersey of their time and money need to face the consequences of their actions," said Senator Linda Greenstein. "When wage theft is apparent, there must be effective laws in place to protect the workers of our state and to punish the employers. Wage theft is a serious crime and it is about time that our laws reflect this."
"Above all else, this law is about workers' rights," said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo. "Employers in New Jersey should be held to a high standard to treat their employees with the decency and legality they deserve. No one should be withheld one penny of the wages they are legally entitled to."
"In signing this legislation, the Murphy Administration sends a clear message to workers that we have their backs and will protect them from being disciplined for reporting unpaid wages. And, it sends a clear message to the vast majority of businesses that we are aggressively pursuing their dishonest competitors with penalties for wage theft that are now stronger than ever," said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
The new law takes effect immediately.
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