On February 4, 2019, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, signed legislation that will raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour by 2024. This legislation makes New Jersey the fourth state to hike its minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, and the third largest to do so.
For the majority of the workforce, the first hike will come on July 1, 2019, at which time employers are required to raise their minimum wages from $8.85/hour, to $10.00/hour. On January 1, 2020, the rate will be raised again, to $11.00/hour, continuing with an increase of $1.00/hour on January 1 of each year through 2024, culminating in a new minimum wage of $15.00/hour.
However, there are exceptions carved out for seasonal, and small business, employees. Small businesses are defined as businesses who employ five or fewer employees. The new law allows these businesses to raise the minimum wage more gradually, beginning with an increase to $10.30/hour on January 1, 2020, and eventually rising to $15.00/hour by 2026.
Agricultural workers are only slated to have their minimum wage increased to $12.50/hour, beginning with an increase to $10.30/hour effective January 1, 2020. Once their minimum wage reaches $12.50 by 2024, the legislature will revisit this issue to discuss possible additional increases.
Wages for tipped employees will also increase. July 1, 2019, all tipped workers must be paid a base hourly wage of $2.63/hour. This will gradually increase to $5.13/hour by 2024. It is important to remember that a worker’s hourly wage, combined with tips, must meet the current minimum wage.
The information in this blog post is just a summary of the new legislation. If you have questions about the new minimum wage regulations, your obligations under the laws, or your any of your employment policies, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or (973) 536-2224.