The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently ruled that a six year statute of limitations applies to claims made pursuant to New Jersey’s Wage Payment Law. The Wage Payment Law covers the timing and method of payment of wages, including sales commissions. In Meyers v. Heffernan, the plaintiffs sought unpaid commissions going back for a number of years. The employer argued that plaintiffs’ claims for commissions earned more than three years prior to the termination of their employments were time-barred. The District Court disagreed. The Court noted a distinction between the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, which contains a two-year statute of limitations, and the Wage Payment Law. The Court relied on previous New Jersey precedent which held that claims for wages or commissions are more akin to contract claims than tort claims. Therefore, the Court held that plaintiffs’ claims, which sought unpaid commissions, were governed by the six year statute of limitations.
This decision is a nice win for employees whose employers fail to timely pay wages and commissions. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate position, contact an employment attorney to advocate for you and obtain the compensation you deserve.