Due to to an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), New Jersey’s minimum wage will rise to $8.38 per hour starting January 1, 2015.  This is the second consecutive year that the state’s minimum wage will increase.  Per our prior client alert, last year New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment that increased the state’s minimum wage to $8.25 per hour effective January 1, 2014, and that mandated automatic annual adjustments based on the CPI beginning on September 30, 2014 and taking effect every January 1st in perpetuity.

New Jersey employers with workers currently being paid less than the new minimum wage rate should prepare for the upcoming pay increase.  The state’s minimum wage applies to any employee subject to the state wage and hour law, including any “non-exempt” employee who is overtime eligible.  Thus, the new minimum wage will result not only in increased “straight time” costs, but higher overtime costs, which generally are calculated at 1.5 times an employee’s hourly “regular rate.”

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Photo of Joseph O’Keefe Joseph O’Keefe

Joseph C. O’Keefe is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and Co-Head of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Joe is an experienced trial lawyer who, for more than 30 years, has litigated employment disputes of all…

Joseph C. O’Keefe is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and Co-Head of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group.

Joe is an experienced trial lawyer who, for more than 30 years, has litigated employment disputes of all types on behalf of employers, before federal and state courts, arbitral tribunals (e.g. FINRA and AAA), and state and federal administrative agencies throughout the U.S. Joe has litigated employment-related lawsuits alleging breach of non-compete agreements, theft of trade secrets, discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing, wage and hour violations, Title IX violations, breach of contract, defamation, fraud and other business related torts. Joe’s practice includes representing clients in complex class and collective litigation, including alleged violation of state and federal pay equity laws, violations of wage and hour laws and discrimination claims. Joe’s experience includes appellate work in both federal and state courts.

In addition to his extensive litigation practice, Joe regularly advises employers, writes and speaks on a wide range of employment related issues. He counsels clients concerning pay equity, use of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace, management of personnel problems, ADA/FMLA compliance, reductions in force, investigation of employee complaints, state and federal leave laws, wage and hour issues, employment policies and contracts.

Joe represents employers in a variety of industries including financial services, higher education (colleges and universities), pharmaceuticals/medical devices, health care, technology, communications, fashion, consumer products, publishing, media and real estate. He frequently writes articles concerning developments in the law and speaks at seminars concerning legal developments in the labor and employment law field.