In a close 21-18 vote the New Jersey State Senate passed bill S15, the $15 Minimum Wage Bill. The bill will now head to Governor Christie’s desk after its previous stamp of approval from the New Jersey State Assembly. The vote proceeded along party lines with the 18 Republican legislators raising objections to the increased costs on businesses and the 21 Democratic legislators fighting to provide a living wage. Governor Christie has not commented on whether he will veto the bill but it is highly unlikely he accepts the $15 wage increase. State Democratic leaders have promised to submit the $15 minimum wage to the voters in a constitutional referendum if Governor Christie vetoes the bill. $15 minimum wage bills have already been signed into law in New York and California. Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut are currently considering similar bills. In addition to the $15 minimum wage there are potential costs for insurance and payroll taxes. Employers should continue to stay informed on the movement of this legislation with an eye on implementation in early 2018. For more information regarding the potential impacts of Bill S15, or regarding any other wage and hour issues, please contact John R. Vreeland, Esq. Director of the Firm’s Wage & Hour Compliance Practice Group, at 973-535-7118 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Aaron C. Carter, Esq. at 973-646-3275 or email@example.com.