The New Jersey overtime exemption regulations are long due for an overhaul. For the past seven years, the regulations have been at odds with federal law.

This is because New Jersey’s overtime exemption regulations were modeled on the former federal regulations in effect prior to August 2004 and not those currently in force.

As such, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development is proposing to repeal its existing rules regarding exemptions from overtime for bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees and replace them with the analogous federal overtime exemption regulations.

As acknowledged by the Department, “these inconsistencies have caused considerable confusion and consternation within the regulated community and there does not appear to be any meaningful purpose served by allowing them to persist."

The proposed amendment will benefit New Jersey employers by eliminating the unnecessary confusion often caused by the inconsistencies between state and federal law. Specifically, as noted by the Department, the simplified post-2004 federal overtime exemption regulations that would be adopted by reference contain streamlined tests for determining exemptions, which impose fewer requirements on employers to establish exemptions.

For more information, the proposed New Jersey overtime exemption regulation can be viewed here. A public hearing was held on April 15, 2011, and the 60-day comment period ends May 20, 2011.