As we previously wrote about here, the New Jersey minimum wage increased to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2014 pursuant to an amendment to the State Constitution that voters approved in November 2013. The constitutional amendment provided that, each year on September 30, the minimum wage shall be increased, effective January 1st of the following year, by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI is the nation’s leading measure of inflation. From August 2013 through August 2014, the CPI increased by 1.59 percent, which requires a corresponding 1.59 percent increase in the minimum wage rate from $8.25 to $8.38 per hour. Therefore, starting January 1, 2015, the New Jersey minimum wage will increase from $8.25 per hour to $8.38 per hour.

Employers should ensure that their payroll systems are properly updated to reflect this new rate. This increase in the minimum wage may pose an administrative burden on employers because January 1 falls on a Thursday in 2015, which will likely be in the middle of a pay period. For that reason, employers may want to implement the higher minimum wage before the start of the pay period that includes January 1.

Employers should check this blog for future changes to the minimum wage rate because it will change on an annual basis going forward.