Malamut & Associates


Know Your Rights: Understanding Labor Laws in New Jersey

June 16, 2017 |

New Jersey law takes employee rights seriously. If you are employed in the state, you have a long list of rights on your side. However, many workers are not well informed on what they can or cannot expect from their employers, with many not realizing they are being taken advantage of.

Break Periods

In New Jersey, workers do not have protected breaks. However, federal laws are on the side of the workforce. According to federal law, breaks between five and 20 minutes offered to employees must be paid breaks, but employers are not required to offer them. Breaks longer than 20 minutes are not required to be paid.


If a previous employer gives a bad reference to block you from finding new work, it may be defamation. Most New Jersey employers will only provide information such as dates of employment, salary, and other information. However, the employer must be able to prove the information is false. A previous employer can tell a new employer that you were always late if you never showed up on time, but cannot make the same claim if you were always on time.

Drug Testing

There are no laws against random drug testing, but the New Jersey Supreme Court has suggested it may invade an employee’s right to privacy. Drug testing has stayed legal as job safety can be a legitimate concern in some fields, such as public transportation and construction work.

Regular Pay

New Jersey employee rights require most employees in New Jersey to be paid their full wages at least twice a month on regular paydays. These paydays are legally required to be no more than 10 working days after the end of the previous pay period. Some employees, such as supervisors or Executives, can be paid monthly.

Unemployment Benefits

In order to qualify for benefits, you must be available for work, able to work, and actively seeking work. In New Jersey, you can only collect unemployment after quitting if you resigned for good cause, such as being asked to perform illegal activities or unethical actions. Under those circumstances, New Jersey Employee Rights Act to safeguard employees.

If you feel your rights have been violated, it’s time to contact a lawyer. At Malamut & Associates, our team of labor law lawyers understand beyond the above topics and can put together a case while protecting your rights as a worker.