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New Jersey Legislature Considers Raising Minimum Wage for Subcontractors at Transportation Centers

By James M. McDonnell
  • June 13, 2017

The New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill (S-3226; A-4870) to raise the minimum wage for employees of subcontractors at Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark Penn Station, and the Hoboken Terminal. If the bill passes, the minimum wage for these employees could be as high as $17.98 an hour, which would effectively eliminate and, in fact, more than double the current state minimum wage of $8.44 an hour.

Under the Safe Transportation Jobs and Fair Employment Rules Act, all entities that provide services at a covered transportation center must pay employees at a rate of not less than the greater of:

  1. the wage and benefit rates, together with the paid time off minimums, for those under the Guard I classification, as established under the federal Service Contract Act of 1965; or
  2. the wage and benefit rates, together with the paid time off minimums, for unarmed security guards as established under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act.

Paid Vacations, Holidays

The bill would require employers to provide employees paid vacation as follows:

  • 2 weeks after 1 year of employment;
  • 3 weeks after 5 years of employment;
  • 4 weeks after 15 years of employment; and
  • 5 weeks after 25 years of employment.

Covered employers also would be required to provide 11 paid holidays each calendar year.

Uniforms

To the extent an employee must wear uniforms, the bill requires the employer to provide a sufficient number of uniforms to the employee or reimburse the employee for the cost of these.

Similarly, if the uniform requires cleaning and maintenance beyond typical “wash and wear” clothing, the employer must pay the employee an additional $3.35 per week.

Tipped Workers

The Act contains provisions applicable to tipped-employees, as well. It would require a minimum cash wage of two-thirds of the established minimum wage rounded to the nearest 5 cents (currently $11.90 per hour). The employer must demonstrate the employee earned the remainder of the minimum wage established by the Act through gratuities.

***

The Act appears to apply to all potential subcontractors at Newark Liberty International Airport, Newark Penn Station, and the Hoboken Terminal, including those providing catering, security, toilet, ramp cleaning, aircraft fueling, baggage handling, ticketing agents, cleaning, and concession services, among others. If the Act passes, the labor costs for covered subcontractors likely will increase dramatically and their existing service contracts may be affected.

Jackson Lewis will provide updates as the bill progresses. Please contact a Jackson Lewis attorney with any questions.

©2017 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Reproduction of this material in whole or in part is prohibited without the express prior written consent of Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm that built its reputation on providing workplace law representation to management. Founded in 1958, the firm has grown to more than 900 attorneys in major cities nationwide serving clients across a wide range of practices and industries including government relations, healthcare and sports law. More information about Jackson Lewis can be found at www.jacksonlewis.com.

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