It is imperative for small businesses seeking to stay competitive and compliant to comprehend the intricacies of the NJ minimum wage structure, as the state is among those that have chosen to establish their minimum pay rates above the federal minimum. If you don’t fully comprehend the rules governing how much you have to pay your staff, you run the danger of getting into trouble with the law, alienating your workers, and damaging your reputation. What is the NJ minimum wage, then? In 2024, will the minimum wage in NJ increase? Which additional pay laws in New Jersey should companies be aware of? We’ll go over all you need to know about the New Jersey minimum wage rules, including the requirement, cost, the state’s distinctive approach, and how it affects small businesses.
US Minimum Wage Schedule
In the US, there are several tiers to the minimum wage system that span the federal, state, and even local levels rather than a single, consistent requirement. Different minimum wage standards may also result from this tiered approach based on the jurisdiction in which an employee is employed.
The Federal Minimum Wage: The Lowest Paying Level
The federal minimum wage, set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), serves as the starting point for all workers in the nation. At the moment, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Nevertheless, given that some states and localities have passed minimum wage legislation that exceeds federal guidelines, this requirement is regarded as the lowest one.
State Minimum Wage: The Intermediate
The state minimum wage rates in thirty-one states and the District of Columbia are higher than the federal minimum wage. The second layer of wage security is provided by these state-level regulations, which guarantee that workers in these areas are paid more than the federal minimum wage.
Municipal Minimum Wage: The Highest
Local governments, particularly smaller ones, occasionally set their minimum wage rates, which may exceed both state and federal requirements. Laws are often enacted to tackle specific economic issues or the cost of living in a specific town or city. New Jersey’s minimum wage surpasses the state rate in several areas, including Hoboken, Jersey City, and
Minimum Wage Rate in New Jersey
The minimum wage in New Jersey has been rising over time, as you can see here. This is consistent because of the nationwide trend of growing minimum wages in the US. Raising the minimum wage aims to guarantee that workers receive a fair salary that enables them to contribute to the economy and meet their fundamental requirements.
What is the minimum wage in NJ today? And is 2024 expected to see another increase?
New Jersey’s minimum wage was also increased to $14.13 per hour on January 1, 2023, benefiting the majority of workers. In keeping with the state government’s overarching plan to progressively raise the NJ minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, the state decided to boost the minimum wage by $1.13 instead of the $1 initially anticipated from the previous minimum of $13 per hour.
Furthermore, several NJ municipalities have also set minimum wages that are greater than the state minimum wage.
Among these municipalities are:
- Hoboken: $16.50 per hour
- Jersey City: $15.54 per hour
- East Rutherford: $15.45 per hour
- West New York: $15.20 per hour
- South Hackensack: $15.00 per hour
- Newark: $14.69 per hour
- Clifton: $14.40 per hour
- Montclair: $14.35 per hour
The NJ state minimum wage will rise by an additional $1 to $15.13 per hour for most workers on January 1, 2024, as part of a gradual increase required by a 2019 measure signed by Governor Phil Murphy. Since the state’s anticipated minimum pay of $15.13 per hour is thought to be adequate to provide a minimal level of living, there are currently no plans to raise the minimum wage in NJ after 2024.
Exemptions and Special Circumstances
The minimum wage laws in New Jersey are not always clear-cut. For instance, particular industries and worker categories are subject to exceptional situations and exclusions. Employers in New Jersey also must be aware of certain exemptions and exceptional instances to ensure compliance with minimum wage laws.
Employees Who Received Tips
In 2024, the minimum wage for the majority of workers will rise to $15.13 per hour; however, tipped workers, such as servers and bartenders, will only receive $5.26 per hour. The reduced pay is only applicable if an employee’s total compensation includes tips equal to the federal minimum wage. If an employer fails to meet the employee’s hourly rate and the standard minimum wage, they are obligated to compensate.
Companies that employ less than six people are not required to pay the minimum wage in New Jersey. These employers will be required to pay a minimum wage of $13.93 per hour as of 2024. Seasonal companies are also exempt from paying the minimum wage if they hire workers for less than 60 days annually.
Under specific circumstances, colleges and universities can pay students at a rate equal to 85% of the minimum wage.
Outside sales employees
If they fulfill specific requirements, external salesmen are released from the minimum wage requirement.
- Being principally in charge of obtaining contracts or orders for the sale of products or services from clients outside the employer’s location.
- Traveling often and customarily outside the company’s location to meet with clients.
- Making a minimum of 75% of the relevant minimum salary in commissions, bonuses, and non-discretionary gratuities combined.
Certain Service Jobs
If specific requirements are met, some service occupations—like those in hotels and motels—are free from the minimum wage requirement.
- The primary occupation involves maintenance, food services, cleaning, or janitorial work.
- Obtaining tips and other gratuities totaling at least 60% of the appropriate minimum wage.
- Having a minimum wage rate set by a collective bargaining agreement that is at least 85% of the relevant state minimum wage.
If religious groups can show that their religious convictions are the main justification for their exemption from the minimum wage requirement, then the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) can waive this requirement. The NJDOL will take into account the organization’s capacity to pay the minimum wage, as well as its financial resources and objectives.
Minimum Wage NJ: FAQs
What is the minimum wage in NJ in 2023?
The minimum wage in New Jersey has gone up—did you know that? The minimum wage in New Jersey is $14.13 per hour for the majority of workers as of January 1, 2023.
Which state’s minimum salary is the highest?
Although Washington has the highest hourly minimum wage in the nation at $15.74, Washington, D.C. has the highest rate at $17.00! Following the guidelines for the federal and state minimum hourly wages helps you stay compliant and guarantees your success.
In which US state is the minimum wage the lowest?
Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Louisiana are the five states that do not have a state minimum wage. In Georgia and Wyoming, the minimum wage is less than $7.25 per hour.
What is the hourly wage in the United States?
The average hourly wage for an hourly worker in the US is $26.82 as of December 7, 2023.
Minimum Wage NJ: Conclusion
It is the duty of employers in New Jersey to adhere to all of the state wage rules that we have just reviewed. The purpose of these rules is to guarantee that workers receive just compensation for their efforts and are shielded from unfair labor practices such as wage theft.
Lastly, provide staff members with easy-to-access information about how to contact the NJDOL with a wage and hour complaint. In addition, if a worker files a complaint, assist the NJDOL’s inquiries to the fullest extent possible and supply all required paperwork. Following the investigation’s conclusion, promptly rectify any violations found by the NJDOL by taking corrective action.