Effective July 1, 2019, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour from $8.85. After months of negotiations, on Monday, Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill to gradually raise the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour by 2024.
Under the new law, the state minimum wage will increase $1.00 per hour every January 1st until reaching $15.00 in 2024, subject to some restrictions for farmworkers, seasonal workers and employees of small businesses. The bill also raises the tipped wage from $2.13 per hour to $5.13. That wage, combined with a worker’s tips, must equal the state’s hourly minimum wage rate. Although the federal minimum wage has not risen from $7.25 since 2009, New Jersey joins a growing list of states authorizing such a jump. The constitutional amendment that raised New Jersey’s minimum wage in 2013 requires it to climb with inflation, so once it reaches $15 in 2024, it will continue to increase based on the consumer price index.
The minimum wage increase will affect more than one million workers statewide, and will require employers to closely monitor their payroll practices to ensure compliance with the increases. Employers should prepare for the costs related to payment of the new minimum wage and administrative costs associated with implementing changes to internal policies.