N.J. Labor Dept: Minimum wage to increase next year

The minimum wage in New Jersey is to go up by $1 to $11 per hour for most employees on Jan. 1, 2020, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor.

The rest of the employees fall into areas where wage increases will happen, but on a different schedule. For example, seasonal workers, hourly farm employees or those who work for an employer with fewer than six employees will see their minimum wage increase to $10.30 per hour.

“I am proud to say that New Jersey continues to move forward on a path to a $15 per hour minimum wage,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “We believe that every resident deserves the opportunity to join the middle class. Our progress on fair and equitable wages demonstrates our state’s commitment to fighting for economic justice and a stronger and fairer economy that works for every family.”

“We firmly believe all workers have the right to earn a fair, family sustaining wage,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “We applaud Gov. Murphy’s leadership in enacting a $15 minimum wage law, and will continue as a department to vigorously investigate wage and hour complaints.”

The law was signed by Murphy in February to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 in 2024 for most workers, but gives seasonal, small and agricultural employers more time.

The labor department said it sets the minimum wage for the upcoming year using either the rate specified in the law or a calculation based on the Consumer Price Index (whichever is higher). For 2020, the CPI put the minimum wage at $10.15 for most employees and $8.98 for those in the alternative, much lower than the increase seen from the law.

The law also established a credit that employers of tipped workers may take against the $11 minimum wage next year. Employers who elect into it will be required to pay their tipped employees a cash wage of at least $3.13 an hour.

Once the minimum wage hits $15 an hour in New Jersey, the state Constitution said it will continue to increase annually by the rate of inflation.