‘Landmark legislation’ a new chapter for New Jersey employees and business owners
Today, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law a bill raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. The new law ends a long-standing debate on whether low-income workers would be paid more and makes New Jersey one of several states that are working toward the $15 minimum wage (others include California, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.). In New Jersey, the minimum wage will increase in increments beginning in July 2019, reaching $15 per hour by 2024.
The change is a victory for New Jersey unions and national groups like Fight for $15 that had been advocating for the rise since 2012, according to NPR, when they began “protesting for higher wages for fast food, child care, and airline workers, among other businesses” nationwide.
Announcing the signing, Governor Murphy tweeted, “For far too long, too many of our fellow New Jerseyans have struggled to survive on wages that have not kept up with the cost of living. Join me live in Newark as we sign landmark legislation raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.”
However, the new law includes a few notable exceptions, according to one source. Seasonal workers and workers at small businesses who have fewer than six employees won’t see $15 per hour until 2026. Farm workers won’t see $15 per hour until 2027 if they see it at all.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed previous bills intended to raise the minimum wage, on the basis that the increase would be bad for business. The current minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.85 per hour and $2.13 per hour for tipped workers.
To ensure your business is compliant with new legislation in your state around minimum wage requirements, it’s always a good idea to check with your local Chamber of Commerce.