TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, which would strengthen the enforcement, penalties and procedures regarding an employer or successor firm’s failure to pay wages, passed the Senate today.
“Any theft is unacceptable, but wage theft by an employer from an employee is particularly abhorrent,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “It’s almost always those with the least that are taken advantage of by their employers and therefore, it falls on us to defend those who don’t generally have the means to defend themselves. This is particularly pertinent as we begin to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars and hour. We can raise the minimum wage, but if we don’t double our efforts and ensure New Jersey employees receive their rightful wage, we will fail those we are trying to help. We must hold all accountable and make sure workers are paid for the work they do. ”
The bill, S-1790, strengthens and expands current laws and measures regarding the theft of an employee’s wages. It would, among other things, increase employer penalties, expand the Commissioner of Labor’s authorization to audit employers and extend the window for an employee to file a wage claim against an employer.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23-12.