On January 1, about a quarter of a million New Jersey employees earning minimum wage will get a pay raise from $7.25 per hour to $8.25 since the NJ employment law has been updated. The raise comes after voters approved a ballot initiative to amend the New Jersey Constitution to increase the minimum wage and then index it to inflation.
Last January, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and automatically raised it each year based on future increases in the Consumer Price Index, which tracks the cost of living. There have been numerous news articles provided by both sides that were lobbying the public to increase the amount of minimum wage. Some articles focused on whether the increase would hurt small business and, therefore, reduce the amount of jobs within the State of New Jersey. Whereas, other articles demonstrated that the increase was necessary based on the minimum wage being too low based on the cost of living in the State of New Jersey. A ballot initiative was proposed as a result of Governor Christie vetoing the prior attempt by the legislature to increase the minimum wage. It may be too early to tell regarding whether it has a good or bad impact. As a New Jersey Employment Lawyer, we will leave the study of the impact of the initiative to economists and politicians.
In addition to any minimum wage increase, employers are always required to provide employees with overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The overtime rates provided to employees working over 40 hours a week will also increase based on the increase in minimum wage. This could result in a reduction in overtime hours for certain employees.
If you have questions about the NJ employment law for minimum wage contact our licensed NJ employment attorneys at 973-920-7888 or fill out our free case evaluation form to get immediate help.