New Jersey Holiday Laws
Despite having federal holidays, no federal law or New Jersey state law requires employers to allow employees off for holidays. Many businesses and companies may allow employees to have between five to seven holidays a year, but they are under no mandatory necessity to do so. Employers are also not required to pay employees for having holidays off.
Federal law states that a business or a company may be open three hundred sixty-five days a year, requiring employees to work holidays and weekends. Simply because an employee works a holiday does not mean he or she is to be paid more for his or time worked. Some businesses and companies may provide a premium payment for working holidays, but employers are under no obligation to provide this benefit.
Holiday pay will most often cancel out overtime for that week. When employees are paid to have a holiday off they are paid up to eight hours; through the rest of the week if they work more than forty hours — including the holiday hours — they will still not be paid overtime. Any overtime worked will be cancelled out by the holiday hours and employees will be paid their normal wages rather than time and a half.
Family and Medical Leave
New Jersey does not have its own state laws for how employees are to take leave of absences. Instead New Jersey uses the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. This act was passed in 1993 and allows employees job security while taking necessary leave for up to twelve weeks. In order for family or medical leave to be legitimate, employees must have probable cause.
The Family and Medical Leave Act covers the necessities of maternity leave, hospitalization, caring for an ill child, personal illness, caring for an elderly parent, and any other extended psychological or medical purpose. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also protects expectant employees and allows them to work and take leave without termination. According to federal law maternity leave includes caring for a newborn and allowing adoptive parents to bond with new children.
Family and medical leave is to be taken in a consecutive manner and cannot exceed twelve weeks. During these twelve weeks an employee cannot be terminated and is entitled to his or her same occupation, or one of equal salary and benefit, upon his or her return. An employee may request to return to work, full-time or part-time, before the twelve weeks have concluded, but an employer had the right to deny this request.
In 2009 the United States raised its federal minimum wage to seven dollars and twenty-five cents. This required all states to raise their minimum wages to mirror or exceed this standard. New Jersey chose to meet the federal minimum wage. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards of 1938 employers are not legally allowed to pay employees less than this minimum, unless employees are tipped.
Employees who acquire tips on a regular basis may be paid two dollars and thirteen cents and hour, as tips make up the wage difference. When tips are acquired in mass employees are required to divide them at the end of a shift.