New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase

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In the fall election of 2013, New Jersey voters approved a one dollar increase in the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 an hour.  Minimum wages are governed by both federal and state law; the federal government enforces a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour which states must follow unless they establish a higher wage.  Up until the election, New Jersey had followed the federal minimum wage but starting in 2014 will be one of 21 states with higher minimum wages than the federal standard.

There are a couple exceptions to the federal minimum wage rule.  Tipped labor, such as waiters or hairdressers, can be paid as low as $2.13 an hour as long as their hourly wage plus tips equals at least the minimum wage.  Also, people under the age of 20 may be paid $4.25 an hour minimum for the first 90 days of employment.  Just like the standard federal minimum wage, these two minimums can be raised by a state if it wishes.  New Jersey has not amended it standards for tipped workers or for those under 20 years old.

New Jersey was wage standards for other employment situations as well.  If a company employs a worker for over 40 hours a week, those overtime hours must be paid at time and a half. However it does not apply to someone in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.  It also does not apply to part-time child care provider working in an employer’s home, motor vehicle salesmen, or outside salesmen.  Currently New Jersey restricts how many overtime hours health care workers may work overtime.  The State also allows for full-time students employed by their college or university to be paid 85% of the minimum wage; in 2014 that will be $7.01 an hour.

There are many specific rules for specific industries.  In particular, those who employ people in the farming, apparel, industrial, and construction industries should pay close attention to the state’s laws.  Anyone who violates these laws will be answerable to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

If you have been withheld the wages due to you or want to ensure you currently comply with state law, you can contact Stone Law at 732-444-6303 or leave us a message on our website.