What you Need to Know About the Prevailing Wage Act
When you start a business, hiring employees is often a sign of growth and success. However, along with the benefits of having employees comes the need to comply with a significant number of laws related to employment on both the state and federal level. Employment laws address many aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including anti-discrimination and harassment, workplace health and safety, and of course, compensation for employees.
Wages are understandably one of the most important issues between employers and employees and many laws require you to pay a certain minimum hourly wage, overtime rates for certain workers, and provide payment at regular and reliable intervals. One law that is often violated and can result in serious penalties is the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act.
What is a Prevailing Wage?
When a company lands a job providing services for a public works or government entity, the state government wants to ensure that the workers on the job are being paid fairly. Specifically, NJ wants to make sure that workers are paid in accordance with the going rate for compensation for that particular industry. In order to protect workers, the legislature passed the Prevailing Wage Act, which sets minimum compensation for workers involved in public projects.
New Jersey and labor unions work together to determine the prevailing wage for certain industries. If your business wins a government contract, you must then pay your workers that set wage for the duration of the project. In addition, you also are required to provide notice to your employees that they are covered under the Prevailing Wage Act when working on public projects.
Penalties for Violations
If you are suspected of violating this wage law in NJ, you can face liability to both the state in the form of civil penalties and to your employees for unpaid wages. In addition, if the state believes you purposely violated the rights of employees, you could face criminal charges, fines, and imprisonment.
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The NJ Prevailing Wage Act is only one of many employment laws with which you must comply to avoid costly liability and penalties. The best way to ensure that your business is in full compliance with all relevant laws is to seek assistance from an experienced business consulting attorney. Please call the law office of Bowne Barry & Barry in New Jersey today.