1. Overtime Payments

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the New Jersey Wages and Hours Law impose minimum wage and maximum hour requirements on employers. 29 U.S.C. §§206-207; N.J.S.A. §34:11-56a4. The FLSA provides that covered, nonexempt employees must receive overtime premium pay for all hours worked over forty hours in a workweek. Id. “Generally, the FLSA requires an employer to pay a non-exempt worker who exceeds specified maximum hours at an ‘overtime’ rate one and one-half times the worker’s regular rate.” Nutley Policemen’s Benevolent Ass’n Local #33 v. Township of Nutley, 419 N.J. Super. 160, 166 (April 1, 2011); 29 U.S.C.S. §207(a).

If an employer contends that an employee is exempt from the FLSA and thus not entitled to overtime, the employer must affirmatively prove that the employee comes within the scope of an overtime exemption.  Brock v. Claridge Hotel & Casino, 846 F.2d 180, 183 (3d Cir. 1988); Friedrich v. U.S. Computer Servs., 974 F.2d 409, 412 (3d Cir. 1992). Exemptions from the FLSA are to be narrowly construed against the employer. Mitchell v. Kentucky Finance Co., 359 U.S. 290, 295 (1959); Madison v. Resources for Human Dev., Inc., 233 F.3d 175, 183 (3d Cir. 2000). Any exemption from the law must be proven plainly and unmistakably. Arnold v. Ben Kanowsky, Inc., 361 U.S. 388, 392 (1960) (exempts are “narrowly construed against the employers seeking to assert them and their application limited to those [cases] plainly and unmistakably within their terms and spirit.”).

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