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Monday, January 10, 2022

NJ Wage Payment Attorney, H.R.603 - Raise the Wage Act of 2021

The federal minimum wage is a law set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) which mandates to employers in all states the lowest hourly wage they can pay their employees. The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009, setting it at $7.25 an hour. It is distressing that current federal minimum wage has not changed in thirteen years and remains $7.25 an hour. The 2009 legislation marks the longest time in the 82-year history of the federal minimum wage statute that Congress has gone without passing legislation to raise it.

This low federal minimum wage has prompted many states such as New Jersey to statutorily  require a higher minimum wage for its workers. The FLSA stipulates that in cases where an employee is subject to both state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage. Starting January 1, 2022, the minimum wage that must be paid by most employers in New Jersey was raised from $12.00 to $13.00 an hour.

While Washington DC and thirty states have passed laws setting minimum wage levels at a rate higher than the federal level, it is vexing that twenty states either have no state mandated minimum or follow the federal $7.25 an hour.

A bill was introduced in the House on January 28, 2021, H.R.603, in the 117th Congress, 2021-2022,  to raise the minimum wage in all states. While this will not directly affect New Jersey employees because New Jersey already exceeds the federal minimum wage, many New Jerseyites care deeply about this proposed federal legislation because nobody who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty, yet millions of workers in the US making as little as $7.25 an hour struggle to feed themselves and their families and keep a roof over their head. This bill increases the federal minimum wage for regular employees over a 5-year period, for tipped employees, and for newly hired employees who are less than 20 years old.

The bill sets forth a schedule of annual increases in the federal minimum wage for individuals with disabilities. The Department of Labor shall no longer issue special certificates for the payment of subminimum wages to such individuals after the final wage increase under this bill for such individuals takes effect.

The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would:

  • Gradually increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour today to $15 an hour by 2025. ( See “SEC. 2. MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES” below.)Index future increases in the federal minimum wage to median wage growth to ensure the value of the minimum wage does not erode over time.
  • Gradually raise the minimum wage paid to tipped workers from $2.13 an hour today to the full federal minimum wage to ensure consistent, livable pay.
  • Guarantee teenaged workers are paid at least the full federal minimum wage by repealing the subminimum wage for you workers.
  • End subminimum wage certificates for workers with disabilities and gradually raise the subminimum wage to the full federal minimum wage to provide opportunities for workers with disabilities to be competitively employed and participate more fully in their communities.

This bill proposes to amend section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206(a)(1)) to read as to graduated increases in the minimum wage in part as follows:

SEC. 2. MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES

(1) except as otherwise provided in this section, not less than—

(A) $9.50 an hour, beginning on the effective date under section 7 of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021;

B) $11.00 an hour, beginning 1 year after such effective date;

(C) $12.50 an hour, beginning 2 years after such effective date;

(D) $14.00 an hour, beginning 3 years after such effective date;

(E) $15.00 an hour, beginning 4 years after such effective date.

If you quit your job in NJ, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit

If you quit your job in NJ, you may lose right to prevail in a lawsuit. If you are thinking of quitting, or you think you will be fired, you should know that you may lose your right to prevail in a lawsuit unless you first take certain legally required measures to preserve your job while you are still employed. If you are thinking of quitting, or think you will be fired, you should contact this office immediately to discuss your options in the safest way for you.

If You Have Been Suspended, Had Your Hours Slashed, or Were Terminated or Threatened with Termination

If you have been suspended, had your hours slashed, or were terminated or threatened with termination for demanding wage and overtime pay for which you are entitled, contact Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law today for a free consultation.

Hope A. Lang, Attorney at Law serves clients throughout New Jersey, including Bergen, Middlesex, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, Ocean, Union, Camden, Passaic, and Morris Counties with locations in southern, central, western and northern NJ to meet with clients.


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