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New Year, New Minimum Wage Hikes

By: Kaitlin E. Gallen

Employers, take note: effective January 1, 2018, 18 states, as well as several cities across the country, increased the minimum wage. Companies with employees in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington should review their pay practices to ensure compliance with the new state minimum wage rates. Additionally, according to the Economic Policy Institute, 39 localities across the United States have adopted a minimum wage above even their own state’s minimum wage.   

Legislators in Oregon, Maryland, and Nevada have introduced bills to increase the minimum wage in their respective states in 2018. And in cities and counties in California, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C., ordinances to raise the local minimum wage rate are being considered as well.

With these changes, 29 states and Washington D.C. have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum wage rate. Thus, employers with employees in more than one state must ensure compliance with federal law, and may also have to ensure compliance with state and local law regarding minimum wage. With the constant changes in minimum wage rates coming at both the state and local level, employers would do well to audit their pay practices in the New Year.