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Overtime Laws and Nontraditional Work Schedules

The rules regarding overtime pay are fairly straightforward for the vast majority of employees in New Jersey. The general rule is that workers must receive 150 percent of their normal wage for every hour worked in excess of 40 per week. But there are several occupations to which exceptions apply, and vocations that demand nontraditional working hours may create complexities.

Several types of work are generally exempt from New Jersey’s overtime requirements, including:

  • Agricultural work
  • Hotel employees
  • Common carrier employees
  • Livestock employees
  • Employees of nonprofit summer camps, conferences and retreats during summer months

The New Jersey exceptions generally are the same as those in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employees who live on the premises where they work and who keep irregular and inconsistent duty hours are usually not entitled to overtime, but they must receive at least eight hours compensation each day. An example would be the live-in manager of an apartment building.

Likewise, employees are usually not entitled to count on-call time as hours worked unless they are severely restricted as to how they can use the hours while they’re on call. Even if an employee is required to remain at home while on call, the law generally respects any reasonable agreement between employer and employee regarding compensation.

If you are a live-in employee, spend significant time on call or otherwise have a nontraditional work schedule, understanding how state and federal overtime laws apply to you can be challenging. If you believe you are not receiving the compensation to which you are legally entitled, a knowledgeable New Jersey wage and hour attorney may be able to help.

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