2020 brings higher wages and possibly higher salaries for New Jersey workers

New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton

New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A new state law preventing employers from asking New Jersey job applicants their past salaries takes effect Wednesday, January 1st.

Lawmakers said they wanted to reduce racial and gender-based pay gaps by stopping companies from perpetuating historical disparities in salary.

“People should be judged … based on qualifications, their expertise and experience, and their ability to do the job,” Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver said at the July bill signing.

Applicants are still allowed to voluntarily disclose how much they previously earned, and employers can use that to determine a potential hire’s compensation.

The Garden State will also increase its hourly minimum wage in 2020 from $10 to $11 for most employers. Seasonal and agricultural workers, as well as employees at businesses with fewer than six people, will earn $10.30 per hour.

The pay hikes are part of an incremental plan to raise the state’s hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2024.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.