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What are New Jersey’s minimum wage laws?

On Behalf of | Apr 3, 2020 | Wage & Hour Laws |

Almost every state including New Jersey (NJ) has a minimum wage in place. This amount is often characterized as the lowest possible hourly rate that an individual can receive for the work that they perform. While this is generally the case, there are some exceptions to this rule. When a state has no minimum wage, that minimum defaults to the federal minimum wage. Individuals who work in certain sectors may be entitled to less pay. Businesses with a smaller staff may be allowed to compensate workers at a lower rate as well.

The current minimum wage in New Jersey is $11 per hour. Most every employer that has six or more workers on staff is required to pay their employees at least this amount if not more. Employers that have five or fewer staff members on their payroll can lawfully pay their employees $10.30 per hour. NJ Constitution Art. I, Section 23 allows any employers in the agricultural sector and those who hire seasonal workers to also pay their employees this rate.

Many individuals who work in the hospitality industry rely on tips as their primary source of compensation. This is why New Jersey law allows these workers to be paid a lower minimum wage than to what other non-tipped employees are entitled. The rate of pay for tipped workers here in Burlington and other parts of New Jersey is $3.13 per hour.

State law allows any employer who has a staff that regularly receives tips or gratuities to pay their employees at this rate. NJ Admin. Code 12:56-8.5 does require employers to compensate their workers at the standard minimum wage if they don’t receive enough in tips to reach that amount on their own.

New Jersey law requires student workers or learners, apprentices and trainees to be paid at least the standard minimum wage. Some employers who hire individuals with disabilities may be able to pay those workers a subminimum wage. Whether they can is greatly impacted by the employer type.

Lawmakers reassess the minimum wage laws in this state annually. The federal government has its timeline for doing so as well. This means that these rates are constantly in flux. A wage & hours laws attorney here in Burlington can advise you whether your employer is paying you the correct minimum wage and let you know what legal options you have available to you to recover what you’re owed if you aren’t being paid what you should be.