Employment and Labor Laws

New Jersey

New Jersey Minimum Wage 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. NJ Constitution Art. I, Section 23; NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev.: Wage and Hour Law Abstract

New Jersey’s Constitution requires an annual review of its minimum wage. The minimum wage must be increased by the percentage the cost of living has changed from the prior September 30 to September 30 in the year the review is conducted. The cost of living change is based on consumer price index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) published by the federal government. Any change to the minimum wage takes effect on January 1 of the following year. Additionally, if the federal minimum wage is raised to a level higher than that of New Jersey, New Jersey’s minimum wage automatically increases to the higher federal rate and all subsequent cost of living increases to New Jersey’s minimum wage will be based off of the new rate. NJ Constitution Art. I, Section 23

Unless an increase in the consumer price index requires a higher minimum wage, New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase as follow over the next several years:

Employers with 6 or more employees (except seasonal and agricultural employees)

  • January 1, 2022 – $13.00
  • January 1, 2023 – $14.00
  • January 1, 2024 – $15.00

Employers with 5 or fewer employees and seasonal employees

  • January 1, 2022 – $11.90
  • January 1, 2023 – $12.70
  • January 1, 2024 – $13.50
  • January 1, 2025 – $14.30
  • January 1, 2026 – $15.00

Agricultural employees (By March 31, 2024, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the Department of Agriculture must determine the impact of the minimum wage increases on the state’s agriculture industry and recommend whether to continue with the minimum wage increases, discontinue them, or make changes to them.)

  • January 1, 2022 – $10.90
  • January 1, 2023 – $11.70
  • January 1, 2024 – $12.50
  • January 1, 2025 – $13.40
  • January 1, 2026 – $14.20
  • January 1, 2027 – $15.00

NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev.: Wage and Hour Law Abstract

New Jersey employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently sets the federal minimum wage at $7.25. See FLSA: Minimum Wage.

If an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage, the employer must pay those employees in accordance with the minimum wage law, either federal or state, that results in the employees being paid the higher wage. In most instances in New Jersey, the New Jersey minimum wage will apply as it generally guarantees a higher wage rate for employees than federal law.


Tip minimum wage

New Jersey’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $4.13. New Jersey’s minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $5.13 on January 1, 2022. NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev.: Wage and Hour Law Abstract

Beginning on January 1, 2025, New Jersey’s tip minimum wage will increase consistent with the increase in the state’s regular minimum wage. NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Dept. of Labor and Workforce Dev.: Wage and Hour Law Abstract

Employers may pay the tip minimum wage to employees who customarily and regularly receive gratuities or tips. NJ Statute 34:11-56a4

If the employee does not receive enough tips to ensure they are paid the standard minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. NJ Statute 34:11-56a4

Gratuities or tips are money paid by customers to employees for services rendered. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-8.1(b) Gratuities are the property of the employee who received them, subject to any tip pooling or tip sharing arrangements. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-8.4(b)


Tip pooling and sharing

New Jersey law allows employers to require employees to participate in a tip pooling arrangement. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-8.4(b) New Jersey law allows employees to voluntarily participate in tip splitting or sharing, where the employees who receive tips splits or shares them with other employees who perform service-related tasks. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-8.2 It is unclear whether employers may require employees to participate in a tip splitting or sharing arrangement.


Subminimum wage

Employees with disabilities

New Jersey minimum wage laws allow sheltered workshops, education institutions, approved rehabilitation programs, and other employers to pay employees with disabilities less than the standard minimum wage if they have received a permit from the New Jersey Office of Wage and Hour Compliance to do so. The permit issued by the Office of Wage and Hour Compliance will contain the minimum wage to be paid the disabled employee and the period of time for which the permit is valid. In some circumstances, the Office of Wage and Hour will issue a blanket permit to an entire sheltered workshop or a department thereof. NJ Statute 34:11-56a17(b); NJ Admin. Code 12:56-9.1-9.5


Trainees

New Jersey minimum wage laws allow employers to pay trainees 90% of the minimum wage rate if the following conditions are met:

  • The employer pays the trainee the subminimum wage no longer than 120 work hours;
  • The employer hires the trainee to receive training for an occupation in which the employee has no previous similar or related experience;
  • The employer does not utilize the trainee in a manner that causes, induces, encourages, or assists any current employee to be fully or partially displaced by 1) reducing hours of a currently employed worker, 2) replacing a current or laid off employee with a trainee, or 3) by relocating operations resulting in a loss of employment at a previous workplace,
  • The employer does not utilize the trainee in a manner that replaces, supplants, competes with, or duplicates any approved apprenticeship program;
  • The employer makes a good faith effort to continue to employ the employee after the period of the training wage expires; and
  • The employer does not hire the trainee at the training wage unless there is a reasonable expectation that, after the trainee successfully completes the training period, the trainee will be hired as a regular employee being paid at or above the effective minimum wage.

NJ Statute 34:11-56a4; NJ Admin Code 12:56-3.4


Apprentices

New Jersey minimum wage laws authorize the Department of Labor and Workforce Services to implement regulations permitting employers to pay learners less than the minimum wage; however, the Department of Labor and Workforce Services has not done so. NJ Statute 34:11-56a17(a)


Learners

New Jersey minimum wage laws authorize the Department of Labor and Workforce Services to implement regulations permitting employers to pay learners less than the minimum wage; however, the Department of Labor and Workforce Services has not done so. NJ Statute 34:11-56a17(a)


Student learners

New Jersey minimum wage laws do not require employers to pay wages to student learners if the following conditions are met:

  • The student must be at least 16 years of age;
  • The activity must be related to a formal school-to-work transition plan for a student learner;
  • There is collaboration and planning between worksite staff and school staff resulting in clearly identified learning objectives related to the non-paid activities;
  • Any productive work is incidental to achieving learning objectives;
  • The student learner receives credit for time spent at the worksite and the student is expected to achieve the learning objectives;
  • The student learner is supervised by a school official and a workplace mentor;
  • The student learner is supervised by a school official and a workplace mentor;
  • The non-paid activity is of a limited duration, related to an educational purpose and there is no guarantee or expectation that the activity will result in employment; and
  • The student learner does not replace an employee.

NJ Statute 34:11-56a17(a); NJ Admin. Code 12:56-18.2


Student workers

New Jersey minimum wage laws allow employer to pay full-time students not less than 85% of the minimum wage if the students are employed by the college or university where they are enrolled. NJ Statute 34:11-56a17(a)


Other State’s Minimum Wage Information

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

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