Being an employee is about so much more than getting a paycheck. According to New Jersey law, employees have the right to the following protections and benefits:
- Overtime pay for hours they work beyond 40 hours in a week
- Having the employer pay half of the employee’s Social Security and Medicare taxes
- Hourly pay of at least $12 per hour, as of 2021
- Paid breaks and sick leave
- Workers’ compensation coverage, such that your employer pays for the treatment of injuries you sustain on the job
- Unemployment benefits
The flipside is that all of these benefits that protect employees from economic hardship if they get sick, injured, or laid off represent additional expenses for the employer. Therefore, employers often try to categorize workers as independent contractors even when there is no reason to do so.