New Jersey local governments can (and sometimes do) legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, several municipalities have living-wage laws stipulating higher pay than the state minimum wage ($7.15 per hour):

Cumberland County: Companies entering into service contracts with the county must pay employees $8.50 per hour. If they don’t offer health insurance, they must pay an additional $2.37 per hour; if they lack a pension plan, their employees are entitled to an additional $1.50 per hour.

Gloucester County: Everyone who works on county contracts must be paid the greater of $8.50 per hour or the hourly equivalent to reach the federal poverty level. Workers are entitled to an additional $2.37 per hour if they’re not offered health benefits. Training and youth programs are exempt.

Hudson County: County service contractors employing security, food service and janitorial staff who work at least 20 hours per week must pay them at least 150 percent of the federal minimum wage ($5.85 per hour effective July 24, 2007). They must also provide health benefits and one week’s paid vacation. (A court challenge to the program recently failed to have it declared unconstitutional.)

Jersey City: City contractors employing clerical, food service, janitorial workers or security guards must pay them $7.50 per hour and provide health benefits and vacation.  

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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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