As of Oct. 1, 2006, the minimum wage in New Jersey is $7.15 per hour ($1.30 higher than the new federal minimum wage of $5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007). For full-time college students, employers may pay as little as 85 percent of the minimum wage.

The state’s Division of Wage and Hour Compliance (www.state.nj.us/labor/lsse/lswhinfo.html) administers the law.

Employees who work more than 40 hours a week are entitled to overtime pay at one and one-half times their regular hourly rate. Workers who are exempt from earning overtime include:

  • Executive, administrative and professional employees
  • Employees engaged in farm labor or relative to raising or care of livestock
  • Employees of a common carrier of passengers by motorbus
  • Employees working under a wage order, such as these occupations: first processing of farm products, food service (restaurants), hotel and motel, as well as seasonal amusement

The following occupations are exempt from the minimum-wage law:

  • Outside salespeople
  • Motor vehicle salespeople
  • Part-time employees engaged in child care in the homes of their employers
  • Minors under age 18, except in these occupations: first processing of farm products, hotels, motels, restaurants, mercantile, laundry, cleaning, dyeing, light manufacturing, apparel and beauty culture
  • Employees at summer camps, conferences and retreats operated by any nonprofit or religious corporation or association during the months of June through September

In addition, employers must pay farm laborers who work on a piece-rate basis not less than the minimum wage multiplied by the number of hours worked.

(To read about the minimum wage laws in other states, visit the U.S. Labor Department’s Web site at www.dol.gov/esa/minwage/america.htm.)

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Excerpted from New Jersey’s 10 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: New Jersey Employment Law.

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