New Jersey Passes Legislation Affording Domestic Workers $15.13 in Minimum Wages and Other Protections

On January 12, 2024, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy signed the New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which guarantees New Jersey’s approximately 50,000 domestic workers, including childcare providers, home caretakers, and caregivers, a minimum wage of $15.13 along with other protections.  Previously, domestic workers were exempt from receiving minimum wage under New Jersey’s labor laws and from being protected against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination; however, this bill ends those exemptions.

Along with minimum wages and protections against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, employers must provide domestic workers with: (i) meal and rest breaks; (ii) at least one day off per week; (iii) a contract detailing their hours to be worked, wages, and job duties; and (iv) notices of termination given at least two weeks in advance.  New Jersey now becomes the 11th State to pass legislation carving out protections for domestic workers, along with New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, among others. 

The push for legislation protecting New Jersey’s domestic workers began in earnest in 2020 after the Rutgers Center for Women and Work issued a report finding that approximately 86% of domestic workers were paid in cash and 57% of domestic workers were victims of wage theft. “Traditionally domestic workers have been carved out of many different labor benefits, and this bill reverses that,” said New Jersey assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, who sponsored the bill.  “This is a workforce that has traditionally been unseen and unspoken for.”

Workers who believe their employer is improperly denying them minimum wages, or subjecting them to other workplace violations, should seek legal counsel to analyze their potential claims. 

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About Camilo Burr

Camilo Burr's practice is focused on employment litigation. Camilo is an associate in the firm's New York office.

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