State agencies help workers settle disputes and grievances quickly and more economically than filing a lawsuit.
In addition to filing a lawsuit in New Jersey state or federal courts, workers who have wage and hour claims or other employment grievances have some other options.
Employment Discrimination Claims
Although many people think first about pursuing a discrimination action in court, complainants have the option of filing claims with a state or federal agency in addition to or instead of bringing a lawsuit. Pursuing an administrative alternative can be an effective way to reach a quick and inexpensive resolution in a discrimination case.
Two separate government agencies handle discrimination complaints filed by New Jersey workers. The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights (DCR) investigates claims based on violations of state law, while the local division of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles discrimination claims based on federal laws.
Workplace Safety and Health
Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace and working conditions for their employees. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) monitors, identifies and quantifies risks to the health of workers, and provides programs and information to promote occupational safety and health. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you can request a health hazards evaluation (HHE) from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) through the NJDOH.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, enforces the Occupational Safety and Health Act and other federal workplace safety requirements. If you believe your employer is failing to protect employees or actively putting workers at risk, you can file a complaint directly with OSHA.
If you have been retaliated against for reporting workplace safety violations or otherwise standing up for workers’ rights, consult with an attorney immediately. Workplace safety is a right under federal and state law, and ensuring safety must be everyone’s priority.
Wage and Hour Claims
Have been improperly paid, subjected to wage theft, denied appropriate compensation under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, or otherwise experienced issues with your pay or benefits? You may be able to file a claim with the New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance, a division of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Wage and hour laws, especially issues related to permissible leave and paid time off, can be extremely complicated. If you suspect you may not have been compensated fully and fairly under the law, contact an attorney immediately. You may not need to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you deserve. An experienced wage and hour attorney can help you understand what you are owed and how to recover it as quickly and efficiently as possible.