New Year, New Minimum Wage?

Welcome to 2019! As we tick over into a new calendar year, new minimum wage statutes have gone into effect in several states. Does your state have a new minimum wage? Do you know which minimum wage (state or federal) applies to your company?

The federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, is a nationwide catch-all to ensure that no untipped hourly employee is paid less than that amount. (There are, of course, exceptions.) However, many states set their own minimum wage at higher than $7.25, and if your business is in one of those states, you’re obligated to pay that higher amount. Employees are entitled to the highest minimum wage applicable to their state of employment.

In 2019, 21 states have newly increased minimum wages, most of which went into effect Jan. 1: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. (Michigan’s increase doesn’t go into effect until April; Oregon’s in July.) The rate increases span as little as $.05 or as much as $1.

H​​​​​ere’s a rundown of minimum wages by state, as of Jan. 1, 2019.

States with a $7.25 Minimum Wage

The following states have no minimum wage laws, have established a statewide $7.25 minimum wage (identical to the federal rate), or have a statewide minimum wage that is lower than the federal rate (in which case the federal rate applies).AlabamaGeorgiaIdahoIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMississippiNew HampshireNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOklahomaPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexasUtahVirginiaWisconsinWyoming(Puerto Rico also has a $7.25 minimum wage)

Higher Minimum Wages by State

The following states have enacted laws that set their minimum wage at higher than $7.25.Alaska: $9.89Arizona: $11Arkansas: $9.25California: $11 ($12 in companies with more than 25 employees)Colorado: $11.10Connecticut: $10.10Delaware: $8.75Florida: $8.46Hawaii: $10.10Illinois: $8.25Maine: $11Maryland: $10.10Massachusetts: $12Michigan: $9.25 ($9.45 on April 1)Minnesota: $9.86Missouri: $8.60Montana: $8.50Nebraska: $9Nevada: $8.25New Jersey: $8.85New Mexico: $7.50New York: $11.10Ohio: $8.55Oregon: $10.75 ($11.25 on July 1, 2019)Rhode Island: $10.50South Dakota: $9.10Vermont: $10.78Washington: $12West Virginia: $8.75(Washington D.C. has a minimum wage of $13.25, which will increase to $14 on July 1, 2019; the U.S. territory of Guam has a minimum wage of $8.25; the U.S. Virgin Islands have a minimum wage of $10.50.)

For more information on minimum wage laws and their exceptions and exemptions, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website.

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