In late November 2017, then Governor-elect Phil Murphy and New Jersey Democratic lawmakers announced an effort to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next several years. New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $8.44 per hour. On January 1, it increases to $8.60 per hour. New Jersey’s 2013 amendment tied the minimum wage to the rate of inflation, hence the minor increases.
Prior efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in New Jersey have failed. Former Governor Chris Christie vetoed the last effort in 2016. If it had passed and gone into effect, the proposal would have increased the minimum wage to $15 per hour over five years. Governor Murphy said he wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next three to four years. There are currently no specific details on how an increase would be rolled out. However, a $15 minimum wage increase could be much more likely because the risk a veto no longer exists.
Small business owners have voiced concern at the proposed legislation. Some are worried they will be forced to cut staff, reduce hours and raise prices. Proponents of the change claim a $15 per hour minimum wage is needed because the cost of living has increased and because it would boost the economy.
There are more changes afoot than a possible minimum wage increase in New Jersey. National tax laws just underwent a major overhaul. Part of the difficulty of running or creating a business is navigating through a constantly changing political environment. The decisions of state and federal lawmakers will affect how you create or operate your business on a day-to-day basis. When new laws change your business plans, an attorney can become a useful ally.
Are you creating, selling or purchasing a business? Gelman Law, LLC could help. New Jersey business law attorney David Gelman could help you perform your due diligence to achieve the best possible outcome.