What Are My Rights as a Seasonal Employee?

South Jersey experiences a biannual influx of jobs. One occurs around December, and the other between May and September, also known as the summer season. These positions are designed to be short-term and are known as seasonal employment.

Hospitality, retail, food, and other industries seek out new personnel to help them through these busy periods. Every worker, whether short-term or long-term, have rights protected by law. Their rights depend on many factors, including the job type and the state where they are employed.

Under New Jersey law, seasonal workers are those employed for 36 weeks or less. They are hired to fulfill a temporary need, such as camp counselors or beach lifeguards. Seasonal employees are entitled to minimum wage or higher and possible overtime, with limited exceptions.

Seasonal workers are often hired with the understanding their position is temporary. Some professions, like athletes and public school teachers, work part of the year, yet they are ineligible for unemployment benefits under federal law.

Temporary Employment

Temporary employees are hired to fill vacancies in a company, such as when someone takes family leave. Unlike seasonal employees, “temps” do not have a predetermined limit regarding how long they work for an organization. There are also temporary to permanent positions, where a temp is hired into a long-term role.

Some temporary employees are hired directly by companies, while others work through temp placement agencies. These temps are employed by the agency, not the company. As a result, they may be subject to different policies than company staff, such as health care coverage.

Part-Time Employment

A part-time employee is one who works below a certain number of hours per week, as determined by the state. By contrast, full-time employees work a set amount of hours or more per week. A seasonal employee may be hired on a part- or full-time basis, depending on the position and the company’s needs.

Part-time employees must follow the same company policies and safety regulations as full-time employees. They may not receive benefits, such as health insurance or vacation time. However, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) specifies that part-time workers receive the same benefits as full-time ones regarding minimum wage and overtime.

Child Labor Regulations

Minors under 18 years old are subject to different rules than adults. All the appropriate paperwork prior to employment must be filled out in its entirety. Important documentation to be filled during work includes marking the number of hours served in a day, as well as lunch breaks. Missing or incomplete documents for minor employees earn penalties from the New Jersey Department of Labor.

Safety regulations for minors are strict. Certain occupations are earmarked as prohibited, such as mining. Employers must also be alert for sexual harassment against minors and educate employees about drug and alcohol policies.

Varying Requirements

The number of hours you work per week to make you qualify as a part-time or seasonal worker depends on where you work. While there is a federal minimum wage, states, counties, and cities may have different salary requirements as well. If you live in one location but work in another, your pay rate may be determined by your place of employment.

South Jersey Employment Lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Can Help With Your Employment Issues if You Are a Seasonal Employee

Do you want to consult a lawyer regarding your seasonal employment rights? If so, speak with our South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We are located in Atlantic City and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.