The New Jersey Department of Labor is conducting a massive audit into the personnel finances of every Toms River Township employee. Today, it was revealed that Mayor Mo Hill’s administration is under investigation for a possible wage and employment crime after state officials requested over 20,000 pages of documents by the New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance. Hill has yet to respond to the latest scandal that is rocking his administration.
According to the state website, the New Jersey Division of Wage and Hour Compliance enforces New Jersey State Labor Laws regarding minimum wage, earned sick leave, methods of wage payment, laws concerning the employment of children, and the following workplace labor standards which could be related to Hill’s administration.
MINIMUM WAGE & OVERTIME WAGE RATE – The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law establishes a minimum wage rate and overtime rate for all workers in New Jersey that are covered by the Act. The law requires the payment of time and one half per hour for actual hours worked in excess of 40 hours, with certain exemptions.
- Are workers being paid properly for overtime or is Hill in his budget crisis frenzy shortchanging the hard working township employees he poses with daily and gives “certificates of appreciation” to?
EARNED SICK LEAVE – Effective October 29, 2018, the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Law allows employees to accrue 1 hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours each year. The law permits employers to create policies that provide additional leave time.
- Hill’s administration could be playing games with unpaid sick leave payouts, whether that’s shortchanging opponents or overpaying political allies. A few hours here and a few hours there, and maybe Hill and the township administration figured nobody would notice?
UNPAID OR WITHHELD WAGES – The New Jersey State Wage Payment Law stipulates the time, manner and mode of payment, and prohibits the withholding of wages for illegal deductions, such as breakage, spillage and cash register shortages.
- Hill’s new town attorney Gregory P. McGuckin has a track record of not paying federal taxes, even had liens placed against him. McGuckin dodge trial and possibly jail time for paying back the IRS in the 11th hour and creating a payment plan to resolve his debt to the nation.
FRINGE BENEFITS – The New Jersey Wage Payment Law and Selected Labor Laws enforce separate benefit packages which the employer has agreed to provide, such as payment of holidays, vacation and personal days, and reimbursement of certain expenses.
- One can write a book on fringe benefits in Toms River. This includes Mo Hill’s vast pay to play corruption network. Perhaps Hill finally gave one too many jobs to a political ally and red flags were thrown up at the state’s financial oversight offices.
CHILD LABOR – The New Jersey Child Labor Law and Regulations specify the hours of work for minors, the type of occupations permitted to be performed, and the issuance of proper employment certificates for all minors under 18 years of age.
- Oddly enough, the state asked for the township’s records for underaged workers. Could Mo Hill be exploiting child labor across the township?
PUBLIC CONTRACTS – The New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act stipulates the payment of prevailing wage rates for workers on construction projects that are subsidized by public funds, and establishes a fair bidding mechanism for both union and non-union workers.
- Public contracts are the political power behind Mo Hill. After all, Hill is nothing to anyone who has money in politics if he can’t give them more public contracts. This year, Hill awarded his political donors with millions of dollars in public contracts.
PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION – The Public Works Contractor Registration Act establishes a unified procedure for the registration of contractors and subcontractors engaged in public works building projects. Requires an annual registration fee of $300 and after successful completion of two consecutive years of registration, a contractor may elect to register for a two year period and pay a registration of $500.
- Maybe Mo Hill’s pay to play vendors aren’t playing by the rules and neither is Mo? The state asked for detailed information, even from the township’s vendors.
FARM LABOR – The New Jersey Crew Leader Registration Act and Selected Farm Labor Laws require the registration of crew leaders, and outlines minimum wage and wage payment standards, and authorizes the investigation and site inspection of migrant farm labor camps, drinking water and toilet facilities, contractors, growers and food processors operating in the State of New Jersey.
- Mo Hill has made sure that every available tract of open space has been built on by his friends, real estate developers and political allies, so it is safe to say, there are no farm labor violations being looked into.
APPAREL INDUSTRY – The New Jersey Apparel Registration Act requires the registration of anyone engaged in manufacturing or contracting in the apparel or embroidery industries in New Jersey as well as any person outside the State who contracts to perform work in the State of New Jersey.
- With one of the township’s oldest men’s clothing stores going out of business in Downtown Toms River, it’s also unlikely this is what the OAG is looking into.
MANDATORY OVERTIME RESTRICTIONS (applies only to health care workers) – The New Jersey State Wage and Hour Law stipulates the conditions under which health care facilities may require certain hourly employees to work overtime.
- Probably not, but Hill is a Trustee of the RWJBarnabas Community Medical Center in Toms River, so we cannot completely rule this one out.