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All in a Day's Work® - Insights on Labor & Employment Law

Minimum wage surgest in 2015 and beyond

Multi-state employers take note: changes in the minimum wage will take effect this year.  At the state level, advocates pushing for an increase in the minimum wage saw significant victories in 2014 and many increases will take effect in the coming weeks.

A comprehensive list of past, current and future wage increases is available here.  Employers should also ensure they comply with applicable notice requirements and update their postings, which are generally available on the respective agency websites.

Employers should note the following state and local minimum wage increases in 2015, with additional increases occurring in 2016 and beyond.  Furthermore, several states, including New York and New Jersey, will see annual cost-of-living increases to their minimum wage.

  • Alaska:  Effective February 24, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.75/hour and $9.75/hour on January 1, 2016.
  • Arkansas:  Effective January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $7.50/hour.  Subsequent increases will bring the minimum wage to $8.00 in 2016 and $8.50 in 2017.
  • California:  In July 2014, California employees saw an increase in the minimum wage to $9.00/hour.  Effective January 1, 2016, this rate will rise to $10.00/hour.
    • Oakland, California:  Effective March 2, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $12.25/hour and will increase in subsequent years based on cost-of-living increases.
    • San Francisco, California:  Over the next four years, San Francisco employees will see a gradual rise in the minimum wage to $15.00/hour.  In addition, effective January 1, 2015, employers in San Francisco must pay employees who work at least two hours a week (with limited exceptions) at least $11.05/hour.  On May 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $12.25/hour.  The next bump, to $13.00/hour, will take place on July 1, 2016.  On July 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $14.00/hour, and, finally, on July 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $15.00/hour.
  • Delaware:  Effective June 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.25/hour.
  • Illinois: Chicago employees will see a gradual increase in the minimum wage over the next five years.  Chicago’s employees will receive their first increase on July 1, 2015, when the rate goes to $10.00/hour.  The rate will increase to $10.50/hour in 2016, to $11.00/hour in 2017, to $12.00/hour in 2018, and to $13.00/hour in 2019.
  • Maryland:  Effective January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.00/hour and to $8.25/hour onJuly 1, 2015.  Subsequent increases will bring the minimum wage to $8.75 in 2016, $8.25 in 2017, and $10.10 in 2018.
  • Minnesota:  Large employers (annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more) will see an increase in the minimum wage to $9.00/hour on August 1, 2015 and $9.50/hour on August 1, 2016.  Small employers (annual gross revenue of $500,000 or less) will see an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25/hour onAugust 1, 2015 and $7.75/hour on August 1, 2016.  Minnesota employers should take note that if the combined amount of its gross revenue is more than $500,000, starting August 1, 2014, it must pay the “large” Minnesota employer minimum wage rate.  In addition, for those employees who are under the age of 20, Minnesota will increase the 90 day training wage to $7.75/hour on August 1, 2015 and $7.75/hour on August 1, 2016.
  • Nebraska:  Effective January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.00/hour and to $9.00/hour on January 1, 2016.
  • New York:  Effective December 31, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $9.00/hour.
  • South Dakota:  Effective January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.50/hour.
  • Washington, D.C.:  Effective July 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50/hour and to $11.50/hour on July 1, 2016.
  • West Virginia:  Effective January 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.00/hour and to $8.75/hour on January 1, 2016.

Locally, Milwaukee County voters strongly supported a ballot referendum in November endorsing a statewide increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour; however, it is unlikely that the Wisconsin Legislature will vote to increase the minimum wage during the next term.

At the national level, President Obama will face an uphill battle in passing a higher federal minimum wage under the next Congressional term.  Given the outcome in the 2014 elections, any additional increases in the minimum wage over the next two years will likely be dependent upon further changes to state and local laws.

January 02, 2015

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