Trenton –Legislation to help employers that employ workers under the age of 18 offset the costs of the minimum wage increase passed the Senate Labor Committee today.
Sponsored by Senator Dawn Addiego, Senator Troy Singleton and Chair of the Senate Labor Committee Senator Fred Madden, the bill (S-718) would permit eligible businesses to apply for refundable tax credits against their corporate business tax or gross income tax for hours worked by employees under the age of 18.
“High school jobs, while often overlooked, can be crucial for families and students. Whether they are helping to support their families or saving for college, getting that first job builds a resume and sets youth up for later success,” said Senator Addiego (D-Atlantic/Burlington/Camden). “But hiring and training young, often transient, high school labor can be costly for businesses, and we don’t want the increase in minimum wage to deter them from giving our youth valuable opportunities.”
Under the bill, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development would adopt regulations for record keeping (wage, age and calculation of minimum wage if the minimum wage had not been enacted), and provide a method for employers to send tax credit certifications to the department of taxation.
“I am proud New Jersey is on the road to a fifteen dollar minimum wage,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden/Gloucester). “But we can’t pretend that it isn’t going to hurt some employers. This legislation is going to help take the pressure off the wage increases for our businesses that often provide important first time employment opportunities for our youth.”
With annual increases, minimum wage will reach $15 an hour on January 1, 2024. The tax credit program under this bill would continue until January 1, 2028.
The bill was released from the Labor Committee by a vote of 4-0, and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.