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Employee Rights in New Jersey: Wage Withholding for Damage


New Jersey has some of the most comprehensive state-level wage and hour laws in the entire country. As explained by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, state law strictly prohibits “the withholding of wages for illegal deductions, such as breakage, spillage and cash register shortages.” Here, our New Jersey employment lawyer provides an overview of the key things that employees should know about our state’s wage withholding laws.

New Jersey Law Prohibits Employers from Withholding Wages for Damages to Workplace 

As a starting point, it is important to emphasize that New Jersey has a state law in place that prohibits employers from withholding employees’ wages for damages or losses incurred at the workplace. It is a crucial piece of legislation that is designed to help ensure that employees are not unfairly penalized financially for inadvertent mistakes or accidents occurring during work hours. An employer cannot deduct any funds directly out of your wages for:

  • Workplace damage;
  • Cash register shortages; or
  • Any other type of unapproved deduction.

 What to Do If Your Wage and Hour Rights Were Violated (Illegal Deduction) 

Were your wages withheld by an employer in New Jersey because of an alleged workplace damage, a cash register shortage, or any other type of related issue. It is likely that your rights were violated under our state’s wage and hour laws. Here are three steps that you need to take:

  1. Document Everything: Documentation matters in a wage and hour claim—especially an illegal deduction case. Preserve as much information as possible, including a precise record of your working hours, the agreed-upon payment terms, and all well as all communications. Prior pay stubs can be valuable evidence to substantiate your claim.
  2. Notify Your Employer: After documenting all necessary information, notify your employer of the issue. In some cases, the employer may not be aware of the issue and the deduction may be corrected without dispute. Ensure that you communicate effectively, delineating the nature of the violation you have encountered. Under New Jersey law, workers have a right to report a suspected wage and hour violation without facing any retaliation from an employer.
  3. Consult With a Lawyer: Be proactive. An illegal deduction from your paycheck should not be allowed to stand unchallenged. The right professional legal representation is an absolute must. An experienced New Jersey wage and hour attorney can provide professional advice tailored to meet your unique circumstance. Contact a New Jersey wage and hour attorney for a fully confidential review of your illegal deduction claim.

 Contact Our New Jersey Employment Attorney for Help

At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey employment lawyers provide solutions-focused guidance and support to clients. If you have any specific questions or concerns about wage withholding regulations, we are here as a legal resource. Contact us right away to set up your completely confidential case evaluation. With an office in the heart of Monmouth County, we represent workers in wage and hour claims throughout all of New Jersey.



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