New Brunswick Business Warned of Penalty Under New Wage Theft Ordinance

A local restaurant has been notified that it must pay one of its former employees unpaid wages or it will no longer be allowed to renew its business license, as per a new wage theft ordinance in the City of New Brunswick.

Wage theft refers to the practice of a business failing to pay employees in full for work performed. On Dec. 18, 2013, the City adopted an ordinance that would deny business owners the renewal of their business license if they are found by authorities to be committing wage theft.

New Labor and Unity Square, the organizations who worked in cooperation with the City to create this ordinance, demonstrated that the issue of wage theft is a growing problem not only in New Brunswick but throughout the state.

The ordinance went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. It is the first ordinance of its kind in New Jersey.

On July 24, 2014, New Labor and Unity Square filed a notice with the New Brunswick Police Department and the New Brunswick City Clerk’s office, claiming City resident Mirna Gonzales Garcia, a former employee of Las Cazuelas Restaurant, was found by a Middlesex County judge on July 7 to be owed $729 in unpaid wages from the restaurant.

As per the ordinance, Las Cazuelas has been notified by the City that it will not be permitted to renew its business license unless and until Garcia has been paid the money she was found by the court to be owed. The restaurant’s license expires on Nov. 30, 2014. If the restaurant fails to rectify the issue, it will not be allowed to operate as of Dec. 1.

Las Cazuelas is the first business to be notified of non-renewal of its license since the passing of the ordinance.

Click here to read the City of New Brunswick’s wage theft ordinance.

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