Know the Minimum Wage in Your State? You Might Want to Check Again

2014 was an odd year in regards to minimum wage. Although Congress failed to pass any legislation regarding the federal minimum wage, nearly half the states had minimum wage increases that went into effect on January 1, 2015. In addition, at least 20 states will have minimum wage increases in 2016 (due to scheduled minimum increases or annual minimum wage calculations). Employers, especially those with multi-state operations, should review the minimum wage of the state(s) in which they operate and make preparations for the changes.

Breakdown of Minimum Wage Increases

There are currently 10 states that adjust their minimum wage annually: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. Of all of these states, with the exception of Nevada, the new minimum wage rate goes into effect on January 1st of each year. In Nevada, the new minimum wage rate goes into effect on July 1st of each year.

In November 2014, there were four states that passed ballot initiatives increasing the state minimum wage: Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota. With the exception of Alaska, the new minimum wage rates in these states went into effect on January 1, 2015. While South Dakota limits their minimum wage increase to 2015, Alaska, Arkansas, and Nebraska have increases in subsequent years.

The minimum wage increases in the remaining jurisdictions were the result of legislation passed in either 2014 or previous legislative sessions. These jurisdictions include: Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. Many of these states also have scheduled minimum wage increases in years following 2015.

The New Rates

The following is a summary of the minimum wage increases.

Alaska. Alaska’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On February 24, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.75 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $9.75 per hour.

Arizona. Effective January 1, 2015, Arizona’s minimum wage is $8.05 per hour.

Arkansas. Effective January 1, 2015, Arkansas’s minimum wage is $7.50 per hour.  Arkansas’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $8 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $8.50 per hour.

California. Effective January 1, 2016, California’s minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour.

Colorado. Effective January 1, 2015, Colorado’s minimum wage is $8.23 per hour.

Connecticut. Effective January 1, 2015, Connecticut’s minimum wage is $9.15 per hour. Connecticut’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the state minimum rate will increase to $9.60 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the state minimum rate will increase to $10.10 per hour.

Delaware. Effective June 1, 2015, Delaware’s minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $8.25 per hour.

District of Columbia. The District of Columbia’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On July 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour.
  • On July 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour.

Florida.  Effective January 1, 2015, Florida’s minimum wage is $8.05 per hour.

Hawaii. Effective January 1, 2015, Hawaii’s minimum wage is $7.75 per hour. Hawaii’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $8.50 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour.

Maryland. Effective January 1, 2015, Maryland’s minimum wage is $8 per hour.  Maryland’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On July 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $8.25 per hour.
  • On July 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $8.75 per hour.
  • On July 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour.
  • On July 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour.

Massachusetts. Effective January 1, 2015, Massachusetts’ minimum wage is $9 per hour. Massachusetts’ minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $11 per hour.

Michigan. Michigan’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $8.50 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $8.90 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour.

Minnesota. Minnesota’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

For large employers (employers that have at least $500,000 in annual gross sales or business done) the minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • On August 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $9 per hour.
  • On August 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $9.50 per hour.

For small employers (employers that have annual gross sales or business done of less than $500,000) the minimum wage will increase as follows:

  • On August 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour.
  • On August 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $7.75 per hour.

Missouri. Effective January 1, 2015, Missouri’s minimum wage is $7.65 per hour.

Montana. Effective January 1, 2015, Montana’s minimum wage is $8.05 per hour.

Nebraska. Effective January 1, 2015, Nebraska’s minimum wage is $8 per hour. Nebraska’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $9 per hour on January 1, 2016.

Nevada. Effective July 1, 2015, Nevada’s minimum wage will increase; however, the state does not announce the new effective minimum wage rate until April 1st of each year.

New Jersey. Effective January 1, 2015, New Jersey’s minimum wage is $8.38 per hour.

New York. Effective January 1, 2015, New York’s minimum wage is $8.75 per hour. New York’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $9 per hour on January 1, 2016.

Ohio. Effective January 1, 2015, Ohio’s minimum wage is $8.10 per hour.

Oregon. Effective January 1, 2015, Oregon’s minimum wage is $9.25 per hour.

Rhode Island. Effective January 1, 2015, Rhode Island’s minimum wage is $9 per hour.

South Dakota. Effective January 1, 2015, South Dakota’s minimum wage is $8.50 per hour.

Vermont. Effective January 1, 2015, Vermont’s minimum wage is $9.15 per hour. Vermont’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase as follows:

  • On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will increase to $9.60 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2017, the minimum wage will increase to $10 per hour.
  • On January 1, 2018, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 per hour.

Washington. Effective January 1, 2015, Washington’s minimum wage is $9.47 per hour.

West Virginia. Effective January 1, 2015, West Virginia’s minimum wage is $8 per hour. West Virginia’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase to $8.75 per hour on January 1, 2016.

About Rick Montgomery, JD

Rick Montgomery is ThinkHR’s Managing Legal Editor and oversees the creation and management of ThinkHR’s online resource library. He is a licensed attorney with over 15 years of experience writing HR compliance related content.