So many groups who have been advocating for years for the $15.00 Minimum Wage now have cause to rejoice. It still has to pass legislative committees, be voted on by the full Senate and Assembly and signed by Governor Murphy. However, the “three men in room” are in agreement. The bill could have been more generous as indicated in exception 1, 2, and 3 below, but “two men” in the room balked.
HERE’S THE NITTY GRITTY
The bill provides that, except for certain specified workers, the general minimum wage rate will be increased to $10.00 per hour on July 1, 2019, to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2020, followed by $1.00 increases each year until the rate reaches a level of $15.00 per hour in 2024.
The exceptions are:
- That for employees of any employer with less than six employees, and for seasonal employees other than tipped employees, the minimum wage rate will be increased to $10.30 per hour on January 1, 2020, and then increased each year from 2021 to 2025 by eighty cents, and then increased in 2026 by seventy cents so that it reaches a level of $15.00 per hour in 2026, followed by further increases from 2027 to 2028 as needed to have these employees earning the same minimum wage rate as the general minimum wage rate in 2028.
- That for farm laborers, the rate will be increased to $10.30 on January 1, 2020, $10.90 on January 1, 2022, and increased by eighty cents in 2023, and eighty cents in 2024 so that the rate will be $12.50 on January 1, 2024, further increases may be contingent on [decisions of ] the following: the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development and the Secretary of Agriculture….
- 3. That employers who employ tipped workers will be entitled to credit for tips received by the worker against the hourly minimum wage rate the employers pays, as follows: from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019, $6.72; after June 30, 2019 and before January 1, 2020, $7.37; during 2020, 2021 and 2022, $7.87; during 2023, $8.87; and during 2024 and subsequent years, $9.87.
- That, commencing January 1, 2020, a training wage of not less than 90 percent of the minimum wage may be paid to an employee enrolled in a qualified training program. The training wage may be paid during first 120 hours after hiring the employee for employment in an occupation in which the employee has no previous similar or related experience.
Finally, the bill establishes a program administered by the commissioner to provide tax credits to employers who employ employees with impairments to offset the cost to the employer of any increases in the wages and payroll taxes of those employees caused by the enactment of the bill.
The four-page bill is here.