the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, On August 18, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) agents set out to deliver stop-work orders for wage violations to four employers across the state, and each business settled its debt on the spot to avert the shutdowns.
In each case, staff complaints of improper compensation led to thorough investigations and a summons served to each of the four employers to appear at a formal proceeding before the NJDOL Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. Rulings were made in favor of the workers, and letters were distributed advising each employer to pay the funds due to the employees within 30 days.
When payment was not received by the workers, the employers were again contacted in writing and notified of pending enforcement of stop-work orders or license suspension if the wages were not paid. After no payments were submitted, the monies were then docketed as a judgement with the Superior Court of New Jersey.
No payments were received subsequent to the repeated attempts to collect the unpaid wages; therefore, stop-work orders were issued to each place of business.
When NJDOL agents and local law enforcement arrived at the worksites to deliver the stop work orders, the employers immediately paid the due wages, and a check will soon be issued to each worker for the amount owed to them.
The businesses in violation were: Shumi Japanese Restaurant in Ridgewood, which owed $2,000 in unpaid wages; Physicians Wellness Consultants LLC in Bayonne, which owed $384 in unpaid wages; Mid Day Medical Associates LLC in Blackwood, which owed $264 in unpaid wages; and AD Energy Limited Liability Company in West Berlin, which owed $4,700 in unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses.
“Whether a worker is due $20 or $20,000, the NJDOL will do everything in its capacity to ensure workers get their due,” said Assistant Commissioner Joseph Petrecca of the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. “We are seeing that the stop-work authority given to us by Governor Murphy and the Legislature has been highly effective in dissuading bad actors and protecting our workforce.”
In July 2019, the NJDOL was granted the ability to require an employer to cease business operations when significant pay, benefits, or other workers’ rights violations are documented. The tool has been used to shut down specific worksites, and in one case, to stop all of a contractor’s current worksites throughout the state.