Minimum Wage and Unemployment: New Updates for New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Labor has issued updates to the Minimum Wage and Unemployment notices due to new requirements of the laws. Both notices have a publication date of 6/19.

What’s Changed for Minimum Wage?

Details of the Minimum Wage Law

New Jersey passed a new minimum wage law, effective July 1, 2019, with stepped increases over several years until the wage reaches $15.00. The intent of the law is to raise the minimum wage without causing undue hardship to small and seasonal businesses, whose employers will have additional time to comply with the law.

Current Minimum Wage Rates

As of July 1, 2019:

  • The new minimum wage for most employers is $10.00 per hour.
  • The minimum wage for seasonal, small, and agricultural employers remains at $8.85 per hour.
  • The new cash wage for tipped workers is $2.63 per hour.

Future Minimum Wage Rates

On January 1, 2020:

  • The minimum wage for most employers will increase to $11.00 per hour.
  • The minimum wage for seasonal, small, and agricultural employers will increase to $10.30 per hour.
  • The cash wage for tipped workers will increase to $3.13 per hour.

From January 1, 2021, through January 1, 2024, the minimum wage for most employers will increase by $1.00 per year until the wage reaches $15.00.

The minimum wage for seasonal and small employers will reach the $15.00 mark on January 1, 2026, and agricultural employers will have to pay $15.00 beginning January 1, 2027.

Cash Wage Rates for Tipped Workers

From January 1, 2020, through January 1, 2022, the cash wage for tipped workers will increase by $1.00 each year, but there will be no increases in 2023 and 2024.

Under the New Jersey minimum wage law, employers are required to make sure employees’ cash wages plus tips equal the minimum wage.

What’s Up for Unemployment?

Unemployment Insurance Changes

The updated and newly titled Unemployment & Temporary Disability notice (formerly Unemployment and Disability Insurance) has several changes.

For starters, a new website has been provided for filing unemployment insurance claims online, which the notice says is the easiest and quickest way to file.

Claims may also be filed by phone at one of the four Reemployment Call Centers listed on the notice. Employees who have worked in the maritime industry in the previous 18 months or live outside of the United States are required to file claims via telephone. A new phone number for out-of-state claims has been provided.

When filing a claim, workers should be prepared to share information about themselves, their employer, and their work history.

Disability Insurance Changes

Workers who have medical conditions such as an illness or injury unrelated to work are eligible for disability insurance benefits.

New and expecting mothers who are in their final weeks of pregnancy or recovery are covered by temporary disability insurance.

Employees who become disabled and want to file for disability benefits are encouraged to find out if their employer participates in the New Jersey State Disability Insurance Plan or has a private insurance plan.

The updated notice includes a new state plan website, where the process of applying for disability benefits is more expedient than submitting a paper application by mail.

Compliance Made Easy!

We have no other labor law news to report for the Garden State, but things could change at any time. That’s why, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to order our 1-Year Compliance Plan so that you will automatically receive the updated New Jersey poster. And because our plan provides free poster updates for mandatory changes, no matter how many occur during the plan year, you can always count on Poster Compliance Center to keep your business in compliance!