NJBIA Urges Labor Committee to Say No to Local Minimum Wage Laws

The New Jersey Business & Industry Association today urged the Assembly Labor Committee to vote no on legislation (A-3912) that would explicitly authorize municipalities, counties, and other governing bodies to enact their own individual minimum wage laws. The committee is scheduled to consider the bill tomorrow.

“New Jersey employers could be forced to follow literally hundreds of different minimum wage laws if this bill is enacted,” said NJBIA President Michele Siekerka. “There are 565 municipalities in New Jersey, and each and every one of them could have different rules for businesses to follow.”

“Such a patchwork of local laws would be unworkable,” Siekerka said. “Businesses on the same street could have to pay two different minimum wages. Companies with more than one business location in the state could be forced to pay employees different wages for the same work.”

NJBIA believes the most effective way to improve employees’ economic opportunities is through basic skills and employment training. The association has worked closely with New Jersey’s community colleges and the NJ Department of Labor to offer outstanding programs that have proven to dramatically improve workers’ computer, communication, math and English skills.

“Rather than trying to artificially set wage levels, legislators should work to create an environment where workers are in greater demand because of the skills they bring to the table,” Siekerka said. “Such improvements make workers more productive and more valuable to employers by giving them greater marketability. Programs like these should be expanded.”

Contact: Peter Peretzman, 609-858-9502; Steve Wilson, 609-858-9495