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New Jersey Minimum Wage to Increase in 2017

New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase from $8.38 per hour to $8.44 per hour effective January 1, 2017, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) has announced.

New Jersey voters approved a referendum in November 2013 modifying the New Jersey Constitution and requiring the NJDOL annually to review the minimum wage and announce any increase for the following calendar year by September 30th. The 2017 minimum wage rate hike is based on the 0.66% increase during the one-year period from August 2015 through August 2016 of the consumer price index (CPI) for all urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W, U.S. City Average), as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since the voter referendum passed in 2013, the New Jersey hourly minimum wage has increased a total of $1.19. In January 2014, the minimum wage increased $1.00 per hour, from $7.25 to $8.25. In January 2015, the minimum wage increased $0.13 per hour, from $8.25 to $8.38. In 2016, the minimum wage remained at $8.38 per hour based on the CPI-W. As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase $0.06 per hour, from $8.38 to $8.44.

Despite the 2013 voter referendum on minimum wage, and the subsequently increases, the New Jersey Legislature has continued its effort to further increase the minimum wage. This summer, both the Senate and Assembly passed a bill that would have increased the minimum wage to more than $15.00 per hour by 2021. Although Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill on August 30, 2016, proponents are seeking to place the measure on the ballot for voter approval in the fall of 2017.

For now, New Jersey employers must ensure all employees are paid at least the minimum wage of $8.44 per hour as of January 1, 2017. Employers also should continue to track efforts to increase the minimum wage to more than $15.00 per hour.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2020National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 283

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About this Author

Richard J. Cino, Jackson Lewis, Corporate Governance Attorney, Contract Breach Lawyer
Office Managing Principal

Richard J. Cino is the Office Managing Principal of the Morristown and Monmouth County, New Jersey, offices of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is also Co-Leader of the Corporate Governance and Internal Investigations Practice Group.

Mr. Cino has a broad area of practice and responsibility with the firm. He acts as lead counsel on all aspects of employment litigation, including defending claims of whistleblowers under various state and federal laws including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, sexual harassment, all types of discrimination,...

973-451-6324
Justin B. Cutlip, Jackson Lewis, DOL representation lawyer, unfair labor practice attorney
Of Counsel

Justin B. Cutlip is an Of Counsel in the Morristown, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience representing employers in wage and hour hearings and audits before the New Jersey Department of Labor and representation cases and unfair labor practice proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Cutlip also regularly represents employers in federal and state courts and administrative agencies including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor and the New Jersey Department of Labor. He counsels clients on issues relating to hiring, termination, discipline, disability leaves, Family and Medical Leave Act, and New Jersey Family Leave Act. Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Mr. Cutlip was a Field Attorney for the Federal Labor Relations Authority where he investigated and litigated unfair labor practice charges and presided over representation hearings.

973-451-6330