NJPP: Proposal to Roll Back $15 Minimum Wage Cheats Low-Paid Workers

Next week, the New Jersey Senate Labor Committee will consider proposals to suspend the phase in of the state’s $15 minimum wage, which was signed into law less than a year ago. Specifically, S3607 would suspend minimum wage increases for at least a year if unemployment increases at all, or if sales and use tax receipts drop at all. In response to this proposal, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) offers the following statement.

Brandon McKoy, President, New Jersey Policy Perspective:

“This proposal is a huge threat to low-paid workers as it all but guarantees the suspension of New Jersey’s $15 minimum wage. The bill uses broad and arbitrary metrics to pause increases in the minimum wage, cheating workers and families already struggling to make ends meet. With income inequality at an all time high, this bill moves New Jersey in the wrong direction and rolls back one of the most consequential, pro-worker policies in state history less than a year after it was signed into law.

“If lawmakers insist on changing New Jersey’s minimum wage law, they should remove harmful carve outs that disproportionately push women and people of color behind. While most New Jersey workers will get to $15 an hour by 2024, farmworkers and employees of small businesses won’t reach the full minimum wage until several years later. Meanwhile, tipped workers are left earning a subminimum wage in perpetuity. Instead of concocting ways to further delay the economic security of New Jersey’s low-paid workers, lawmakers should focus on policies that boost wages and lift families out of poverty.”

New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) is a nonpartisan think tank that drives policy change to advance economic, social, and racial justice through evidence-based, independent research, analysis, and advocacy. NJPP has long-advocated for increases in New Jersey’s minimum wage.

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