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Federal Minimum Wage Stagnant but 13 States Raise Their Minimum Wages

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor made raising the federal minimum wage one of its priorities. The federal agency sought to create a discussion about the minimum wage through social media and town hall meetings across the country. In addition, Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez regularly blogged about his trips and conversations with workers throughout the country and the impact that raising the minimum wage would have on average households. Yet despite the efforts of the Department of Labor and Secretary Perez, Congress did not raise the federal minimum wage in 2013. As a result, the federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour in 2014.

Thirteen states, however, did raise their minimum wages. Effective January 1, 2014, the new state minimum wages are as follows:

  • Arizona: $7.90 per hour
  • Colorado: $8.00 per hour
  • Connecticut: $8.70 per hour
  • Florida: $7.93 per hour
  • Missouri: $7.50 per hour
  • Montana: $7.90 per hour
  • New Jersey: $8.25 per hour
  • New York: $8.00 per hour
  • Ohio: $7.95 per hour
  • Oregon: $9.10 per hour
  • Rhode Island: $8.00 per hour
  • Vermont: $8.73 per hour
  • Washington: $9.32 per hour

In addition to these increases, which took effect on January 1, 2014, California is scheduled for an increase to $9.00 per hour beginning on July 1, 2014.

Washington remains the state with the highest state minimum wage at $9.32 and is one of 21 states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum. Twenty states maintain a minimum wage equal to the federal minimum in 2014, while the minimum wages of four states remain less than the federal minimum. Another five states continue to have no state minimum wage requirement. As many as 11 states and the District of Columbia are expected to consider raising their minimum wages this year.

Several municipalities around the country have also raised their local minimum wages. San Jose, California, for example, increased its local minimum wage to $10.15 per hour, and Albuquerque, New Mexico increased its minimum to $8.60 per hour. Both increases became effective on January 1, 2014.

Given these changes and the continued focus on the minimum wage at the local, state, and national levels, employers are well-served to remain abreast of minimum wage changes in their cities and states. We will continue to keep you apprised of developments as we know them.

Michelle R. Maslowski is an associate in the Indianapolis office of Ogletree Deakins.

January 14, 2014 | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .