Paramus, NJ

Construction Employee Unpaid Wages Attorney

What is the Prevailing Wage Act and How Do Employers Violate it?

The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act (N.J.S.A. 34:11-56.25 et seq.) in general dictates the amount of wages that a subcontractor or contractor is required to pay workers, laborers, and mechanics on public works projects. The Act kicks in when the contract is for a public works project between a public body and a contractor. The meaning of “public work” under the Act includes the following projects:

  • Construction
  • Reconstruction
  • Demolition
  • Alteration
  • Repair work
  • Maintenance work (includes painting and decorating)

Prevailing wages are only paid when the contract for the public works project exceeds $15,444. They also apply to contracts in excess of $2,000 awarded by a nonmunicipal public body.

Employers can violate the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act in a variety of ways. In terms of wage violations, employers have been known to engage in the following violations of the Act:

  • Failure to pay workers in accordance with rates provided by the Prevailing Wage Act
  • Misclassifying workers by seniority or job title in an effort to pay lower wages
  • Engaging in the fraudulent adjustment of time sheets and hours worked
  • Failure to file a payroll before its due date

The Prevailing Wage Act requires that contractors maintain records from no less than 3 years from the date of the last payment on a construction project. Failing to keep any of the following records would be a violation of the Act:

  1. Hourly wage paid (including cash and fringe benefits from each pay period);
  2. Worker classifications;
  3. Number of hours worked each day;
  4. The starting time and ending time of each day;
  5. Records of all mechanics, laborers, and other workers that perform work on the project (records include: names, addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers)
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Usmaan Sleemi
Usmaan Sleemi

The Fair Labor Standards Act and Its Policies on Overtime

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a law passed by the United States government that sets standards for overtime pay, minimum wage, child labor, and recordkeeping. Some employees are “exempt” from overtime pay, meaning that they are not protected by overtime regulations. A few of these jobs include executive positions, outside sales representatives, and administrative positions. The FLSA provides that its exemptions do not apply to “blue collar workers” or manual laborers who perform tasks that require employees to work with their hands and physically exert themselves. Employees that are protected by the FLSA include:

  • Construction workers
  • Longshoremen
  • Operating engineers
  • Carpenters
  • Mechanics
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Iron workers
  • Craftsmen

The employees listed above are entitled to minimum wage and compensation for overtime work performed. No matter how high their salaries may be, they are still protected by the FLSA. They must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. New Jersey law dictates that minimum wage in the state is $8.44 per hour. Work that is considered overtime is defined as all hours worked that exceed the 40 hour work week. It is calculated as minimum wage multiplied by time and a half. There are no specific standards for weekends or holidays. For example, some employers pay workers double time for working holidays. This is not required by the FLSA but rather is an individual choice by an employer

Paramus, New Jersey Construction Employee Unpaid Wages Attorney

If you believe that your wages were tampered with, you were misclassified according to your craft, or you were not justly compensated for hours worked, contact an employment law attorney right away. A Paramus, New Jersey construction employee attorney can give you an honest assessment of your wage claim and can help walk you through the filing process. You deserve to be fairly compensated for the hours you spend at work. An unpaid wages attorney at the Law Offices of Usmaan Sleemi provides high quality legal services to employees with wage violation and unpaid overtime claims. Call the Law Office of Usmaan Sleemi today at (201) 345-3446 and set up a free and confidential consultation.


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