Minimum Wage Upped in NJ

New Jersey’s minimum wage is now $14.13 per hour effective Jan. 1, a $1.13  increase over last year as the state moves towards a $15 minimum by 2024.

The new rates were signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019. The legislation also calls for adjustments based on increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Putting our minimum wage on a clear path to $15 an hour and setting us among the nation’s leading states remains one of my proudest moments,” said Murphy. When Murphy took office in 2018, the state minimum wage was at $8.60 per hour. Soon after, the Legislature began working on increasing the minimum wage.

“This increase will ensure that hundreds of thousands of hardworking people across our state are paid a wage that allows them to provide for their families and live with greater dignity. To solidify New Jersey as the State of Opportunity, we must continue our mission of building a stronger and fairer economy that works for every family and that begins with growing our middle class,” Murphy said.

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) is responsible for monitoring the status of minimum wage and the CPI. The NJDOL increases the minimum wage by the rate agreed upon in the legislation or analyzes the CPI to make adjustments. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour, the State Constitution requires the minimum wage to be increased annually based on changes in the CPI.

“The Governor and Legislature had the forethought to account for the possibility of rising costs in their historic minimum wage law, which helps low-wage workers better provide for themselves and their families,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Every extra dollar in the paychecks of our lowest wage workers is helpful.”

Some stipulations in the legislation include an extra two years for seasonal and small employers to pay their workers $15 per hour. These employers have until 2026 to meet the minimum wage requirement for standard workers. Due to this, seasonal and small employees will see their pay increase to $12.93 this year.

Additionally, agricultural workers are also guided by a separate minimum wage timetable and were given until 2027 to reach the $15/hour minimum wage. Employees who work on a farm for an hourly or piece-rate wage will have their minimum hourly wage increase to $12.01 this year. Long-term care facility direct care staff will see their minimum wage rise to $17.13.

With the new changes, tipped workers’ cash wage will increase to $5.26/hour as employers will be able to claim an $8.87 tip credit, an increase in the maximum allowable tip credit of $1. If the minimum cash wage plus an employee’s tips do not equal at least the new state minimum wage, then the employer is mandated to pay the employee the difference.

For more on the rights and protections of tipped workers, click here.

For more information on the state minimum wage, click here.

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