Gas station workers in the state of New Jersey are receiving unpaid back wages and overtime pay as the result of a four-year investigation by the United States Department of Labor.
The investigation, which ran from 2010 through 2014, allowed the Department of Labor to recover $5.5 million in back wages for NJ gas station employees. Payments for these violations include damages to be awarded to employees.
Over the course of the last five years, these workers were not paid the required minimum wage and/or overtime pay as mandated by federal law (specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act).
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires gas stations to pay employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or more. Additionally, for every hour worked beyond 40 hours in a single week, employees are to receive overtime pay (time and a half).
A number of New Jersey gas stations were found to be in violation of the FLSA, including BP locations in Pennsauken, Burlington, Mount Ephraim, and Maple Shade.
As a result of the investigation, a number of gas stations are taking action to ensure employees are properly compensated in the future.
Some gas stations are now relying on time clocks to track hours more effectively. Several are hiring additional employees to avoid needing overtime, also requesting training from the Department of Labor to ensure owners and management staff understand and abide by overtime and minimum wage laws.
While the Department of Labor’s “crackdown” has helped to curtail this unlawful behavior in some counties, it hasn’t recovered unpaid wages in every county of the state. According to reports, Atlantic, Salem, and Gloucester counties haven’t seen any gas stations pay out money.
In addition to their transgressions against the federal law, these gas stations may have also violated the New Jersey employment law, which sets the state minimum wage at $8.25 per hour – one dollar higher than the federal minimum wage.
If you work in the state of New Jersey and believe your employer owes you back wages or overtime pay, don’t to wait for a federal investigation to recover what you are owed – contact a consumer lawyer immediately to review your case.