It also important to remember that most of New Jersey’s labor and employment laws apply to employers of all sizes―from mom-and-pop businesses to large, public corporations.
Over the last several years, New Jersey has enacted a number of legislative measures focused on expanding the state’s enforcement powers under various state employment laws. Now, the state is looking to hire private attorneys to assist with its enforcement efforts. Recently, the New Jersey Office of Attorney General issued a request for qualifications (RFQ), seeking applications from attorneys interested in serving as special counsel for affirmative labor enforcement and worker protection litigation.
According to the RFQ, the firms or attorneys selected as special counsel will:
[H]andle all aspects of providing representation to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development… the Attorney General, and/or other State officials, entities, or agencies in matters related to affirmative labor enforcement and worker protection litigation.
This includes, but is not limited to, initiating civil litigation under the state’s Wage & Hour Law, Wage Payment Law, Unemployment Compensation Law, Child Labor Law, Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, Prevailing Wage Act, the New Jersey Antitrust Act “and/or other relevant laws and regulations.” The state is accepting RFQ submissions through August 17, 2023.
Given that Attorney General Matthew Platkin intends to retain private lawyers to aid the state with enforcement of various employment laws, employers can expect more employment litigation brought by the government for violations of worker rights.
What This Means for New Jersey Employers
This RFQ serves as another reminder to New Jersey employers to review their policies and procedures to ensure compliance with New Jersey employment laws, particularly those relating to wages and compensation, since such violations can result in the imposition of significant fees, penalties and even criminal charges. Of course, it is not enough to have accurate and comprehensive policies; employers in the Garden State need to be sure that their directors, managers and supervisors are consistently enforcing and carrying out those policies.
It also important to remember that most of New Jersey’s labor and employment laws apply to employers of all sizes―from mom-and-pop businesses to large, public corporations. As such, all businesses operating in the state should be equipped with formal policies and handbooks, and should be auditing those policies on a regular basis to ensure they reflect the current state of the law.
For More Information
If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact Kathleen O'Malley, Danielle M. Dwyer, any of the attorneys in our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.
Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.