TRENTON, N.J. — This month, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is mailing a package of materials to owners of the state’s 950 laundromats to help ensure they start the new year in compliance with the state’s labor laws.
The mailing is part of an ongoing Strategic Enforcement initiative in the retail, coin-operated laundromat industry by the agency’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance to make sure employers are aware of – and in compliance with – earned sick leave, minimum wage (now $15.13 for most employees), overtime and other labor laws.
Strategic enforcement focuses on industries with a history of non-compliance with existing laws and on those whose employees are less likely to file complaints with the Department. The retail, coin-operated laundromat industry employs many vulnerable, low-wage workers who have experienced violations of their work rights, and NJDOL holds non-compliant employers accountable for labor violations.
At the same time, the Department believes that providing outreach and education to all laundromat employers and workers about labor rights is a key component of Strategic Enforcement.
The mailing from the Division of Wage and Hour Compliance is designed to equip laundromat employers with the knowledge to understand their responsibilities so they meet their obligations. It includes the Employer’s Guide to Wage and Hour Laws, the Earned Sick Leave Compliance Checklist, and the required Earned Sick Leave employment poster.
On-demand resources such as flyers, brochures and a labor laws webinar are available on the Wage and Hour Division’s website.
“Our department believes the vast majority of employers are good and honest actors who want to follow the law and treat their employees with dignity and respect,” says Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We are making sure small and growing businesses have the information and guidance they need to comply with state laws, while calling out and punishing employers who refuse to come into compliance.”
NJDOL also has been working with the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) since summer to provide hands-on help to laundromat owners to increase awareness of workers’ rights and share best practices that eliminate worker exploitation and prevent repeated violations of the state’s wage and hour laws.
Laundromats will continue to be a Strategic Enforcement focus in 2024, NJDOL says. Any New Jersey business or organization that would like to engage with NJDOL to ensure they maintain a lawful workplace is encouraged to email [email protected] to learn more.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].