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24 Nov

State Minimum Wage Increases On The Rise

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Almost every week there is another report on minimum wage increases. Awareness of these changes is important to every business, large or small. In recent months several states have increased their minimum wage, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. A few of the upcoming minimum wage changes are listed below.

The new minimum wage law in Connecticut includes three annual wage rate increases. The first increase raises the rate to $9.15 on January 1, 2015, to $9.60 in 2016, and to $10.10 in 2017.

On January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Massachusetts will increase to $9.00 per hour, to be followed by an increase to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016 and $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2017. The law states the Massachusetts minimum wage law must always be at least $0.50 higher than the effective federal minimum wage rate.

Rhode Island
The third consecutive annual minimum wage increase for Rhode Island is effective on January 1, 2015 and will increase the current rate to $9.00 per hour. The increase allows Rhode Island to engage in competitive hiring with neighboring states.

Minimum wage increases in Vermont are set to begin January 1, 2015, with the current rate rising to $9.15 per hour. Additional annual increases will go into effect beginning January 1, 2016 with the rate increasing to $9.60 per hour, followed by $10.00 per hour in 2017, and $10.50 per hour in 2018. Starting in 2019, the Vermont minimum wage will annually increase by 5% or the Consumer Price Index percentage increase. The amount used will be determined by which of the two percentages is the lowest. Beginning January 1, 2015, employees receiving tips as a portion of their wages, must be paid a minimum of one-half the state minimum wage.

Additional Minimum Wage Increases
Presently, several state wage laws include annual minimum wage increases, effective on the first day of January. The Consumer Price Index is typically used to determine the rate increases. State labor departments normally announce the new wage rate in October for the following year.

You can keep on top of all changes in minimum wage laws applying to your business by checking the state government web sites for each email notifications and other important wage law information available for employers. Look out for email notifications from Vensure regarding these changes as well.