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


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:


Overtime

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. 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 does 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

In New Jersey, 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 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. In addition, according to the New Jersey Family Leave Act, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, and other federal laws, employers may provide unpaid sick leave.

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 voting leave laws 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.


Unemployment

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.

In New Jersey, 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.


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