New Jersey raises its minimum wage effective Jan. 1


| Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

TRENTON, NJ – Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the New Jersey statewide minimum wage has increased by $1 to $13 per hour for most employees.

The increase is part of legislation signed by Governor Phil Murphy in February 2019 that gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 for most employees. In 2018, when Murphy took office, he and the Democratic-controlled legislature passed a law to increase the minimum wage as a legislative priority. At that time, the state’s minimum wage was $8.60 per hour.

Under the law, seasonal and small employers were given until 2026 to reach $15 per hour to lessen the impact on their businesses. The minimum hourly wage for these employees will increase to $11.90/hour on Jan. 1, up from $11.10.

Agricultural workers are guided by a separate minimum wage timetable until 2027 to reach the $15/hour minimum wage. Employees who work on a farm for an hourly or piece-rate wage will see their minimum hourly wage increase to $11.05, up from $10.44. Additionally, long-term care facility direct care staff will see their minimum wage rise by $1 to $16/hour.

“The challenges of the pandemic have shown why it’s so important that the Garden State remain on course to a $15 minimum wage,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “In support of Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger and fairer economy, we’re working to get our residents into not just jobs, but good jobs with sustainable wages and the generous benefits that come with working in our state.”

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) set the minimum wage this year using either the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher. Once the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour, the state Constitution specifies that it continues to increase annually based on any increase in the CPI.

Tipped workers also had their minimum cash wage rise by $1 to $5.13/hour, with employers able to claim a $7.87 tip credit. If the minimum cash wage plus an employee’s tips do not equal the state minimum wage, the employer must pay the employee the difference. For more on the rights and protections of tipped workers, visit this website here.

For more information on the state minimum wage, visit this website here.

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