New Jersey Employers Should Prepare for First in a Series of Minimum Wage Increases

The first in a series of increases to New Jersey’s minimum wage takes effect on July 1, 2019 and will increase the minimum wage, which is currently $8.85 per hour, to $10.00 per hour for most employees. The minimum wage will continue to increase each year on January 1 by $1.00 per hour until it reaches $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2024.

Thereafter, the minimum wage may increase if necessary to match any increase in the consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical works (CPI-W) or to match any increase to the federal minimum wage.

The minimum wage law provides for a separate schedule of increases to wages paid by seasonal employers, small employers, agricultural employers, and employers to tipped workers.

Seasonal employers and small employers (employers with five or fewer workers) can maintain the current minimum wage of $8.85 until January 1, 2020, and then more gradually reach $15.00 per hour by January 1, 2026. The first increase on January 1, 2020 will be to $10.30 per hour.

The credit available to employers of tipped employees will gradually increase from the current rate of $6.72 per hour, reaching $9.87 per hour by January 1, 2024.

Employers should prepare to comply with the first increase to the minimum wage by July 1.

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