When categorizing salaried employees as exempt or nonexempt, employers in New Jersey adhere to federal law. State regulations apply to salary situations involving certain overtime practices and time off from work.
Salaried executive, administrative and professional employees, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act, are exempt from overtime in New Jersey and must receive no less than weekly salary of $455 as of this publication in 2015.
Salaried employees who are not excluded from overtime are nonexempt and must receive no less than the state minimum wage of $8.38 per hour as of this publication.
Under New Jersey law, salaried nonexempt employees must receive overtime at 1 1/2 times their regular pay rate for more than 40 work hours in a week. With the exception of certain restrictions for health care employers, employers in New Jersey can make overtime mandatory provided they pay for all hours worked.
The fluctuating method of calculating overtime is sometimes used when a salaried nonexempt employee's hours change from week to week. The employee and employer agree the employee will receive a fixed salary each week to cover all hours worked, plus overtime at 1/2 times the regular rate. This practice is acceptable under the FLSA, provided certain conditions are met. New Jersey employers are allowed to use the fluctuating workweek method.
Salary During Emergency Closings
Salaried exempt employees are not paid according to hours worked. They must get a full day's pay for partial days taken, and full salary for weeks in which they perform any work. For example, if the employer closes the business because of inclement weather for less than a week, salaried exempt employees must receive a full week's salary if they performed any work at all during the week.
Nonexempt salaried employees are paid based on hours worked and do not have to be paid for days in which they do no work. The employer can instead have them take a vacation day if the business closes due to inclement weather.
New Jersey law does not require that employers provide fringe benefits, such as vacation, sick or personal time off or severance and holiday pay. Employers that choose to provide these benefits must adhere to the terms of the agreement or policy. New Jersey has a Family and Medical Leave Act that allows qualified employees to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave if they have a qualifying condition, such as to care for their newborn.
According to the website of Dash Farrow, a law firm in New Jersey, wrongful termination laws in New Jersey cover discrimination, workers' compensation, whistleblower and family leave. An employee who believes she was unfairly dismissed because she complained about her salary or wages may file a complaint with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Wage and Hour Compliance. If the issue is related to discrimination, the employee may contact the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, which also handles complaints pertaining to family leave.
An employee may file a private lawsuit against her employer for wrongful termination, provided she hasn't already filed a claim with the state department. She might be entitled to back pay, punitive damages and attorney fees.