New Jersey Minimum Wage Laws – 2022


Minimum Wage

New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $13.00 for employers with 6 or more employees (except seasonal and agricultural employees) and $11.90 for employers with 5 or fewer employees and for any seasonal employees.

For agricultural employees, the minimum wage is $10.90.

New Jersey’s Constitution requires an annual review of its minimum wage to help see its impact on employers. 

The minimum wage must be increased by the percentage the cost of living has changed from the previous year’s September 30 to September 30 in the year the review is conducted. 

The cost of living change is based on the 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 on the new rate.

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

Employers with 5 or fewer employees and seasonal employees:

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

In terms of 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. Then, recommend whether to continue with the minimum wage increases, discontinue them, or make changes to them: 

  • 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 

New Jersey employers must also comply with federal minimum wage laws, which currently set the federal minimum wage at $7.25. 

Suppose an employer chooses to pay employees minimum wage. In that case, 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 $5.13.

Beginning on January 1, 2025, New Jersey’s tip minimum wage will increase consistent with the increase in the state’s regular minimum wage.

Employers may pay the tip minimum wage to employees who customarily and regularly receive gratuities or tips.

If the employee does not receive enough tips to ensure they are paid the standard minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.

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


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 split or share 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. That is 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 to 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. Check NJ Admin. Code 12:56-9.1-9.5 for more information.


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 employers 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)


Wage Laws in New Jersey: More Information

The added details below are related to how minimum wage laws are implemented in New Jersey.

New Jersey Wage Theft Act

Considered one of the country’s strongest wage theft laws, the New Jersey Wage Theft Act was crafted to prevent international wage theft and its punishment. It is also, of course, for the protection of both employees and also employers from various penalties.

How does wage theft occur, then? It is when employers do not pay their valuable employees (whether hourly employees, salaried employees, non-salaried employees) the full compensation commensurate to all the work hours they have rendered. In short, these are unpaid wages.

The various ways by which this theft is done is through not adhering to the hour minimum wage, not paying at all, not paying for all of the hours rendered, or even withholding the last paycheck before the employee leaves the employer.

Therefore, the reluctance of workers to file complaints, if any, should not be a deterrent to file complaints if they fail to get their hourly or piece-rate wage. Everyone is also encouraged to seek prompt legal advice.

Labor Complaint Processes in New Jersey 

Related to the act mentioned above, below are some guidelines on filing complaints related to state’s minimum wage laws and other labor laws.

First, anonymous complaints are allowed. However, the caveat is information about this complaint will not reach you unless a specific resolution is sent through your employer, with the due wages part of the solution to the complaint. 

Second, employers don’t always get notified about complaints. The staff of New Jersey’s Wage and Hour Compliance ensure that steps are taken to hide the identities of complainants from business owners.

However, due to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), each employer can access information about the complainant. This can be done once the investigation is over.

The law protects the identities of witnesses to the maximum extent possible.

Labor Law and Minimum Wage Posters

Also required by the Fair Labor Standards Act and the state’s labor laws, approved minimum wage posters must be displayed visibly in workplaces.

This move aims to ensure awareness among all employees regarding federal laws. It also helps both employers and employees avoid facing several penalties, some of which may be severe.


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

Employment Law Updates

Laws change in a moment.

Sign up to stay informed.

Visiting on behalf of:

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING!

We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.

Employment Law Updates

Laws change in a moment.

Sign up to stay informed.

Visiting on behalf of:

Have employees in more than one state? SUBSCRIBE HERE!

THANK YOU FOR SUBSCRIBING!

We hope you find our newsletters help you better navigate employment and labor law issues.