As an employee, you need to always stay informed about employment laws. When you are informed about employment laws, you can protect your rights. Your employer may inform you about relevant employment laws including a minimum wage increase, but you cannot depend on them to do that. Some employers even give employees false or misleading information.
Minimum wage laws are among the most important employment laws you need to stay informed about. The minimum wage is defined as the least amount of remuneration an employer can pay you for work performed during a given period, which an individual contract or collective agreement cannot reduce. Do you know that there was a statewide minimum wage increase on January 1, 2023? Also, do you know you have legal recourse if an employer fails to pay you at least the statewide minimum wage? Keep reading to learn more.
Minimum Wage Increase
At the beginning of the year, New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage increased by over $1 for most employees. In 2022, the state’s minimum wage was $13.00 for most employees, and now it is $14.13. This rise is part of a rule signed by the Governor in 2019. The legislation slowly increases the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour by next year for most workers. According to Governor Murphy, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will ensure hardworking New Jersey employees can care for their loved ones and live with greater dignity.
For workers not covered under this minimum wage increase, January 1, 2023, also brought new industry-specific minimum wages. The minimum wage for seasonal employees and employees of small employers (employers with fewer than six employees) increased from $11.90 per hour to $12.93 per hour. For agricultural workers, the minimum wage increased from $11.05 to $12.01; for facility direct care workers, the minimum wage rose to $17.13. Finally, the cash wage for tipped employees in NJ increased to $5.26 per hour.
What are Your Options if an Employer Fails to Pay You at Least the State’s Minimum Wage?
When employees get cheated by employers, they often feel hopeless. If an employer has failed to pay you at least the state’s minimum wage, you should know that you have legal recourse. If an employer has denied you what you are entitled to, you should consult an employment lawyer as soon as possible. You may be able to recover what you are owed, plus additional compensation.
In New Jersey, you have the option of suing the employer in state court or filing a claim for unpaid wages with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
How an Employment Lawyer Can Help You
You may wonder, “Do I really need to hire an employment lawyer for an unpaid wages claim?” While you are not required to hire an attorney for your unpaid wage claim, it is best that you do. An experienced employment attorney can help you in many ways, including the following;
- Investigating your claim
- Gathering necessary documentation or evidence
- Negotiating on your behalf
- Encouraging informed decisions
Contact Us for Legal Help
If you need help understanding minimum wage laws or pursuing an unpaid wage claim, contact a skilled New Jersey employment lawyer at the Trabosh Law Firm.