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What’s New in New Jersey Employment Law in 2023

Several new employment laws either came into effect or will go into effect in the first few months of the new year. Most of the new laws benefit employees in New Jersey, including modest minimum wage increases across all industries and enhancements to compensation and protections for employees facing mass layoffs.

As of January 1, the statewide minimum wage for most employees is $14.13 per hour, up from $13 in 2022. There are also increases in minimum wages for specified types of employees as follows:

  • Agricultural workers’ minimum wage is now $12.01 per hour.
  • Long-term care facility employees’ minimum wage is now $17.13 per hour.
  • Tipped workers in the hospitality industry must be paid at least $5.26 per hour and their tip credit is now $8.87.
  • Seasonal employees’ minimum wage rose to $12.93 an hour.
  • Employees must now be paid at least $12.93 if they work for a small business, namely one that has fewer than six employees this year and had six or fewer employees for at least 48 weeks in 2022.

The other major set of legal changes for 2023 come from an amendment to the New Jersey WARN Act, which governs what employers must and must not do when conducting mass layoffs. The WARN amendments take effect on April 10, 2023 and include the following provisions:

  • Mandatory severance — All laid-off workers are entitled to one week of severance pay for each full year of employment. This is a change from the old WARN rule, which required employers to pay severance only if they laid people off without notice.
  • Expanded notice — Employers with 100 or more employees must provide at least 90 days’ notice before starting layoffs, terminating operations or transferring operations. That’s up from 60 days under the old WARN law.
  • Definition of mass layoff — Discharging 50 or more employees is considered a mass layoff under the new WARN rules, so any layoff of 50 or more people triggers the protections and rules set out in the new law.
  • Part-time employees count — Part-time employees count toward the 50-employee threshold for layoffs, so these employees are also entitled to the 90 days’ notice and mandatory severance pay described above.

If you believe your employer is not complying with the minimum wage increases, the enhanced WARN Act provisions or any other legal requirements, make sure to speak with an experienced New Jersey employment lawyer who can explain what remedies may be available to you.

Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in Hackensack represents New Jersey employees in wage and hour disputes, wrongful termination actions and all other types of employment law cases. If you would like to discuss your situation with an attorney, please call us at 551-245-8894 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.

Neil  H.  Deutsch Attorney Photo
Neil H. Deutsch

Neil H. Deutsch has been practicing law for over 35 years and is known as a skilled negotiator in employment and discrimination law. He believes in a bottom-line approach of risk analysis and cost effectiveness for his clients. "Case evaluation is something we take seriously," says Mr. Deutsch who seeks top net dollar for his…

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Bruce L. Atkins
Senior Partner

Bruce L. Atkins is regarded as one of New Jersey’s premier practitioners of employment and civil litigation. He has been selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers prestigious list every year since 2005.  This honor, bestowed upon a recipient by the votes of his peers, is a powerful nod to the skill Mr. Atkins brings…

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Adam J. Kleinfeldt

Adam J. Kleinfeldt joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in March of 2015.  He primarily represents individuals in employment litigations such as discrimination, retaliation, and whistle blowing matters.  He has extensive experience in all phases of the litigation process. Adam has obtained significant results for some of his clients, including a $525,000 jury verdict in…

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Diane Englander Peyser

Diane Englander Peyser joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in September 2018 where she represents employees in wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination matters. Prior to joining Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C., Diane represented clients in all aspects of employment law on behalf of employees involving unemployment appeals, claims of sexual harassment, LGBT discrimination, disability…

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Debra M. McGarvey

Debra M. McGarvey joined Deutsch Atkins & Kleinfeldt, P.C. in December 2019. She has extensive experience defending employees and employers in state and federal court in employment litigation matters. She has represented clients on various issues arising out of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), the…

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