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States plan minimum wage increases; federal bill gains momentum

Last Updated November 15, 2013

Changes to the minimum wage — and to the minimum wage posting — are on the horizon for a number of states. While other issues have captured the attention of Congress, a call to raise the federal minimum wage persists on a national level.

State Changes

A number of states have announced new hourly minimum wage rates that will take effect on January 1:

  • Arizona — $7.90
  • Colorado — $8; $4.98 for tipped employees
  • Connecticut — $8.70
  • Florida — $7.93
  • Missouri — $7.50
  • Montana — $7.90
  • New Jersey — $8.25
  • Ohio — $7.95; $3.98 per hour for tipped employees
  • Oregon — $9.10
  • Rhode Island — $8
  • Vermont — $8.73; $4.23 for tipped employees
  • Washington — $9.32

In addition, in 2014, the minimum wage in San Jose will increase to $10.15 per hour and the minimum wage in San Francisco will be $10.74 per hour.

New York’s minimum wage may also be higher in 2014, but there is some uncertainty surrounding the increase. Legislation boosting New York’s minimum wage to $8 per hour was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, but the law is facing some legal challenges that could prevent the new minimum wage from taking effect.

Two states have scheduled a mid-year increase for their minimum wage rates. Recent legislation will increase California’s minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2014, and to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. Nevada is scheduled for an annual minimum wage increase on July 1, 2014.

Still an Issue on a National Level

Support for a national minimum wage increase is gaining steam in Washington, D.C. The New York Times recently quoted a White House official as stating that President Obama is behind the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told CNN that he would try to get a minimum wage increase passed in November.

While the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 remains in committee in the House and Senate, it has gained additional sponsors recently. The bill now has 147 cosponsors in the House and 32 in the Senate.

The Act calls for the minimum wage to increase to $8.20 three months after the legislation is enacted, to $9.15 per hour after one year, and to $10.10 per hour after two years. After three years, and annually thereafter, changes in the minimum wage would be tied to the Consumer Price Index.

Posting Compliance

When minimum wage rates change, the government entities making the change may issue new minimum wage postings that employers must display in order to be in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Subscribers to J. J. Keller's Update Service will automatically receive a poster with updated information when state and federal changes occur.