On Friday, January 18, after months of deliberation between the Executive and Legislative branches, Governor Phil Murphy and Legislative Leaders announced they had reached a compromise on a $15 minimum wage measure.
In his press release, Governor Murphy stated, “Today, we are taking a historic step to provide more than one million New Jersey workers a stronger foothold in the middle class. No one working a full-time job should ever live in poverty. Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path to $15/hour is good for workers, good for our businesses, and good for our economy. A higher minimum wage strengthens all of New Jersey. “
Although a copy of the legislation is not currently available, in Governor’s Murphy’s press releaseannouncing the bill’s framework the following measures were outlined:
- Several steps up in the minimum wage for most New Jersey businesses that will result in a $15 minimum wage by 2024. The steps are:
- On July 1, 2019 the minimum wage rate will increase to $10 per hour;
- On January 1, 2020 the minimum wage rate will increase to $11 per hour;
- After that, the minimum wage will increase by $1 per hour every January 1 until it reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2024.
- For seasonal employers and small businesses (defined as less than six employees) the $15 minimum wage would take effect on January 1, 2026, two years later than all other businesses. This will be done in several steps, although the first increase on January 1, 2020 was not outlined in the press release. Additionally, by January 1, 2028 employees will be paid the $15 minimum wage inclusive of inflation adjustments that take place between 2024 and 2028.
- Farm workers have been spared the $15 per hour rate, and instead will max out at $12.50 per hour by January 1, 2024. In 2024, an analysis will be done to see if the wage should be raised higher than $12.50 and if decided so, legislative approval would be needed to increase the wage rate.
- The measure includes tax credits for employers who hire individuals with disabilities.
Once bill text is available to review, the CCSNJ will update you with additional details.