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New Jersey may up minimum wage for employees relying on tips

Staff writer |
Workers in New Jersey will see the minimum wage increase to $8.38 an hour on January 1, employees that rely on tips might also receive a boost.

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The federal minimum wage for tipped employees has been frozen at $2.13 since 1993.

The state Assembly’s Labor Committee passed a bill in March that proposes a minimum wage hike for employees that earn tips in New Jersey. The bill proposes that employers pay tipped workers 40 percent of the state minimum wage, $8.25 in New Jersey, amounting to about $3.30 an hour by the end of 2014. By the end of 2015, the bill includes an additional increase to 69 percent of the minimum wage, or $5.70.

The final calculations of the new tipped minimum wages are expected to be slightly higher, because the minimum wage in New Jersey increases based on inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index.

Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant Association, said regardless of the minimum wage for tipped employees, those workers will never make less than the state’s minimum wage rate for any type of employee. In fact, she said, tipped employees generally earn an average of $16 to $17 an hour after tips.

In the case that a tipped employee does not make $8.25 after tips, an employer is required to pay the employee the difference, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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