New Jersey Labor Laws 2024 | Wage and Hour Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey Labor Laws

New Jersey labor laws, including New Jersey labor laws 2024, impact the daily lives of employees and employers in New Jersey. Residents of New Jersey have many questions that affect them every day regarding New Jersey labor laws from minimum wage rates, overtime, wage payments, vacation and sick leave, child labor, meal and rest breaks, and more.

In addition to New Jersey labor laws, employer must also comply with federal labor laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and many other federal laws. And when federal laws are different from state New Jersey labor laws, usually companies must comply with the law that provides their workers the best protection.

Below we provide comprehensive information and resources regarding your more pressing New Jersey labor law questions to help you answer the question and help you make the right decision about you and your employment.

Minimum Wage

New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $12.00 for employers with 6 or more employees (except seasonal and agricultural employees) and $11.10 for employers with 5 or fewer employees and for any seasonal employees. For agricultural employee, the minimum wage is $10.44.

In New Jersey, the minimum wage must be increased by the increase in the percentage of the cost of living. Moreover, if an employee receives tips, the minimum wage is $5.13. In January 2025, the minimum wage for tipped workers will increase to be consistent with the state’s regular minimum wage increase.

For more information on New Jersey’s minimum wage laws, visit our New Jersey Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.

Related topic covered on other pages include:


New Jersey labor laws require an employer to pay overtime to employees, unless otherwise exempt, at the rate of 1½ times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a workweek. NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev.: Wage and Hour Law Abstract.

Labor laws under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) state that employees are eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week unless otherwise exempt. Standard overtime pay is 1.5 times the regular pay. See FLSA: Overtime for more information regarding overtime requirements.

Prevailing Wages

Under certain circumstances, employers in New Jersey may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal or state prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the state’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or state government or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal or state government services. See the New Jersey Prevailing Wages, Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.

Meals and Breaks

New Jersey labor laws require employers to provide employees under the age of eighteen (18) with a thirty (30) minute break after five (5) consecutive hours of work. NJ Statute 34:2-21.17d(g)(4).

New Jersey labor laws do not require employers to provide breaks, including lunch breaks, for workers eighteen (18) years old or older. An employer who chooses to provide a break in excess of twenty (20) minutes does not have to pay wages for lunch periods or other breaks if the employee is free to leave the worksite, in fact takes their lunch or break, and the employee does not actually perform work. According to federal law, breaks twenty (20) minutes or shorter typically must be paid. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs.

Nursing Mother Breaks

New Jersey labor laws require employers to allow employees who are nursing mothers to take reasonable breaks each day to express breast milk unless allowing the employees to take nursing mother breaks would cause an undue hardship. Employers may provide employees who need to express breast milk with suitable rooms or other locations that provide privacy, which cannot include toilet stalls, that are in close proximity to the employees’ work areas.

Employers may not penalize the employee in terms, conditions or privileges of employment for requesting or taking nursing mother breaks. Also, employers may not provide nursing mother breaks in a manner less favorable than other breaks provided to other employees not affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding but similar in their ability or inability to work. Employers are not required to pay nursing mother employees for break time unless such time coincides with other paid breaks or the employers pay other employees for breaks that are similar in their ability or inability to work.

For the purposes providing nursing mother breaks, whether the breaks would cause an undue hardship on the operation of an employer’s business includes the following factors:

  • the overall size of the employer’s business with respect to the number of employees, number and type of facilities, and size of budget;
  • the type of the employer’s operations, including the composition and structure of the employer’s workforce;
  • the nature and cost of the accommodation needed, taking into consideration the availability of tax credits, tax deductions, and outside funding; and
  • the extent to which the accommodation would involve waiver of an essential requirement of a job as opposed to a tangential or non-business necessity requirement.

NJ Statute 10:5-12(s)

Vacation Leave

Under New Jersey labor laws, employers do not have to give their workers unpaid or paid vacation benefits. However, if the employer provides vacation leave benefits, they must adhere to the conditions set out in the employment contract or vacation leave policy. However, New Jersey labor law does not say anything about vacation leave hours and payment. Therefore, as it stands, employers can implement a vacation policy as they want.

Information about New Jersey vacation leave laws may now be found on our New Jersey Leave Laws page.

Sick Leave

Employers in New Jersey must provide paid sick leave for their employees. The law states that employers must provide up to 40 hours of paid earned sick leave per year to most part-time and full-time employees, including seasonal and migrant employees.

Employees who are eligible for paid sick leave by take leave for:

  • time needed for diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, an employee’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or for preventive medical care for the employee; 
  • time needed for the employee to aid or care for a family member of the employee during diagnosis, care, or treatment of, or recovery from, the family member’s mental or physical illness, injury or other adverse health condition, or during preventive medical care for the family member;
  • absence necessary due to circumstances resulting from the employee, or a family member of the employee, being a victim of domestic or sexual violence, if the leave is to allow the employee to obtain for the employee or the family member: medical attention needed to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic or sexual violence; services from a designated domestic violence agency or other victim services organization; psychological or other counseling; relocation; or legal services, including obtaining a restraining order or preparing for, or participating in, any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to the domestic or sexual violence;
  • time during which the employee is not able to work because of a closure of the employee’s workplace, or the school or place of care of a child of the employee, by order of a public official due to an epidemic or other public health emergency, or because of the issuance by a public health authority of a determination that the presence in the community of the employee, or a member of the employee’s family in need of care by the employee, would jeopardize the health of others; or
  • time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function or other event requested or required by a school administrator, teacher, or other professional staff member responsible for the child’s education, or to attend a meeting regarding care provided to the child in connection with the child’s health conditions or disability. 

NJ Stat. 34: 11D-3

In addition, under to the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), employees may be able to apply for leave benefits if they are bonding with a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child. They may also eligible for family leave insurance benefits if they are caring for a family member with a serious physical or mental health condition, or to handle certain matters related to domestic or sexual violence.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and other federal laws may require employers to provide unpaid sick leave to employees.

Information about New Jersey sick leave laws may now be found on our New Jersey Leave Laws page.

Holiday Leave

Private employers in New Jersey are not required to provide unpaid or paid holiday time. In New Jersey, a non-state employer may require an employee to work holiday hours but is not obligated to pay additional rates for work during holidays unless the worker earned overtime hours and overtime pay under federal overtime laws. However, if an employer provides unpaid or paid holiday leave, it must adhere to the terms set out in the employment contract or established holiday leave policy.

Information about New Jersey holiday leave laws may now be found on our New Jersey Leave Laws page.

Jury Duty Leave

An employer must allow an employee to respond to jury duty summons and sit on jury duty when required. However, the employer is not required to pay the employee’s wages for the time spent on jury duty. In addition, a business does not have the right to threaten, coerce, penalize, or discharge any employee for responding to jury duty.

Information about New Jersey jury duty leave laws may now be found on our New Jersey Leave Laws page.

Voting Leave

New Jersey does not have any laws that require businesses to grant employees leave, whether unpaid or paid, to vote.

Information about New Jersey labor laws regarding voting leave may now be found on our New Jersey Leave Laws page.

Severance Pay

New Jersey labor laws do not require employers to provide employees with severance pay. NJ Dept. of Labor FAQs. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.


Under certain circumstances, New Jersey residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits.

Under New Jersey employment laws, workers must be willing and able to work and actively seek new employment to receive unemployment benefits. Moreover, a worker must have earned at least $220 per week for 20 four more weeks during the base year to be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

In addition, they must have earned at least $11,000 in total through covered employment during the base year period. Moreover, loss of work may not be due to any fault of the worker. Quitting a job for personal reasons will disqualify anyone from receiving unemployment benefits in New Jersey. 

See New Jersey State Unemployment Benefits.

Other New Jersey Labor Laws Topics and Resources

There are several other New Jersey labor laws governing the New Jersey employers and their workplaces. Below are those topics and resources:

Disability (a mental or physical impairment)Sex, including sexual harassmentGender expressionNational Origin
Race (includes hair texture)Sexual orientationReligionAncestry
CreedGender identityAge (40+)Pregnancy or breastfeeding
ColorAtypical hereditary cellular or blood trainGenetic informationMilitary service
Civil union or domestic partnership statusRetaliationWhistleblower

Other State’s Labor Law and Wage and Hour Information

AlabamaHawaiiMassachusettsNew MexicoSouth Dakota
AlaskaIdahoMichiganNew YorkTennessee
ArizonaIllinoisMinnesotaNorth CarolinaTexas
ArkansasIndianaMississippiNorth DakotaUtah
DelawareLouisianaNevadaPennsylvaniaWest Virginia
District of ColumbiaMaineNew HampshireRhode IslandWisconsin
FloridaMarylandNew JerseySouth CarolinaWyoming
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