Democrats in the state legislature and Governor-elect Phil Murphy have vowed to gradually increase New Jersey’s wage to $15 per hour. According to state lawmakers, the increase would take effect over the next several years. Currently, New Jersey’s minimum wage is $8.44 per hour. On January 1, the minimum wage will increase to $8.60 per hour.
Few details have been released on how this gradual change will take place. However, Governor-elect Murphy said he favors implementing the hike within three to four years. Prior attempts to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage have failed. In 2016, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a proposal to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. This time around, Democrats will control the state legislature and the governor’s mansion.
There are opponents and proponents to this proposed legislation. According to proponents, a minimum wage increase is necessary because of the high costs of living in New Jersey. Proponents claim that even if a household with two independents makes $15 per hour, they are still at near-poverty wages. An article published by NJ.com interviewed several works who currently make $8.44 per hour. According to a public school cafeteria worker interviewed for the article, more than half of her wages go to bills.
Opponents are concerned about the effects a $15 minimum wage could have on small businesses. According to opponents, a $15 minimum wage would force small businesses to increase prices for goods or services, lay off workers and reduce work hours. Some business owners in New Jersey claim the wage hike would force them to shut down.
What Do You Think About New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Hike?
In public policy, there are always winners and losers. However, the Manalapan business lawyers at Garland & Mason, L.L.C. want to hear your thoughts on this proposed wage hike. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and continue following our blog for future updates on business news.