By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law Attorney
Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont
New Jersey now joins four other states who have added a minimum wage to its state constitution. The bill passed on November 5, 2013 with the support of approximately 61% of the voters. The new constitution amendment raises the state minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 per hour. Additionally, it establishes automatic increases based upon the rate of inflation. The new minimum wage law will go into effect in January 2014.
The minimum wage increase had been a matter of significant debate with the state legislature originally voting to increase NJ's minimum wage to $8.50 per hour. This bill was vetoed by Governor Christie because of concern over its impact on hiring, especially as related to small business. While Christie had proposed alternative, the legislature decided to allow voters to decide.
This is s signifigant increase and will undoubtedly have an impact on the ability of smaller NJ companies to add new employees to their staff. While it may benefit those who are already employed, it is unclear what the long-term impact will be on hiring and unemployment throughout the state,
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