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New Jersey Voters Approve Minimum Wage Increase

On November 6, 2013 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Michael J. Wietrzychowski

By a 61 to 39 percent margin, New Jersey voters approved an amendment to the state’s Constitution that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 per hour beginning January 1, 2014.  In addition to this increase, the amendment requires annual cost of living increases to the minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index.  Furthermore, if subsequent state or federal legislation raises the minimum wage above the constitutionally mandated rate, then the higher rate will set the new minimum wage floor, and cost of living increases will be tacked on to the higher wage.

New Jersey employers who currently pay less than $8.25 per hour should begin planning for the new rate as well as the annual increases.  Employers who currently pay employees above $8.25 per hour may feel recruitment or retention pressure to increase wages of current or prospective employees to keep those employees distanced from the minimum wage floor.