Minimum Wage Will Increase to $15.13 for Most New Jersey Employers on January 1
Once again, New Jersey employers should start preparing for another increase in the state’s minimum wage that will take effect January 1, 2024. In 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed a law that gradually increases the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour for most non-exempt employees by 2024. As we’ve previously reported, due to significant increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), minimum wage has exceeded the levels contemplated back in 2019. Here is a summary of the increases that will soon take effect, along with some compliance recommendations to prepare.
Summary of 2024 Minimum Wage Levels
Effective January 1, 2024, the following minimum wage increases will go into effect:
- Most employers: increase from $14.13 to $15.13 per hour
- Tipped employees: increase from $5.26 with a $8.87 tip credit to $5.26 per hour with a $9.87 per hour tip credit
- Seasonal and small employers (fewer than 6 employees): increase from $12.93 to $13.73 per hour
- Agricultural employees: increase from $12.01 to $12.81 per hour
- Long-term facility staff: increase from $17.13 to $18.13 per hour
What Should You Do?
Compliance with the new minimum wage rates is essential for all New Jersey employers. New Jersey’s Wage Theft Act criminalizes certain wage and hour violations and the damages, penalties, and fines for violations is significant. If an employee is not paid properly – including not paid at the correct minimum wage – they may be able to recover liquidated damages of 200% in addition to the original wages they were owed.
Even though $15 minimum wage has been achieved, minimum wage will continue to increase as the state Constitution provides that minimum wage will increase annually based on any increase in the CPI. As costs continue to rise, new legislation may be introduced to increase the minimum wage rate further. Employers must be cognizant of these increases for both compliance and budgeting purposes.
If you have any questions about New Jersey’s minimum wage laws and how these changes may impact your business, please contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, the author of this Insight, or any attorney in our New Jersey office. Make sure you are subscribed to the Fisher Phillips Insight System to get the most up-to-date information.