New Jersey

More Than $7M in Back Pay Unclaimed in New Jersey

Nearly 10,000 workers in New Jersey are owed more than $7 million in back pay and they may not know it, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The agency's Philadelphia office said this week that its Wage and Hour Division is holding $7.2 million that belongs to thousands of private sector workers in the state. That's about $720 per worker, on average, The Record newspaper reported.

The unclaimed back pay was collected from employers over the past three years as a result of enforcement actions, said Mary Doughty, director of operations for the division's Northeast region. She said workers who switch jobs or move away can be hard to find.

Those who believe they have cash coming can go to the agency's new "Wages Owed Workers" website. Once there, they can type in their employer's name and location followed by their own last name and first initial.

Wage law investigations are often prompted by worker complaints. Restaurant and nail salons are common offenders, according to Doughty.  Some of the most common violations involve overtime pay requirement's or the state's minimum wage.

After three years, unclaimed cash goes to the U.S. Treasury.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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