Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington Voted YES to Increase Their Minimum Wages

The United States has seen a number of movements to improve the lives of workers in the past few years. From the Fight for $15, to the passing of the Secure Scheduling Act and A Fair Day’s Pay Act, it is evident that workers and employees are continuing to push for higher wages, and better work environments. While not all cities and states are jumping to a $15 minimum wage, many have been presenting the issue on ballots.

2016 has seen quite a few changes across states and cities in this regard. Notably, California and New York are moving to $15 minimum wage. Cities appear to be increasing to a $15 minimum wage at a faster rate than states are increasing. 15 cities have already approved the progression to $15, and at least 6 other cities have introduced legislation on this path. The trend over the past few years demonstrates a move in the upward direction to compensate for the increase to cost of living.

The results of the November 2016 ballot gave way to 4 more states moving to increase their minimum wage. The four states were Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington. Each state plans to increase its minimum wage; however, they plan to implement the increase incrementally over the course of 4 years. The table below shows current minimum wages for these states and where they plan to be by 2020. 

StateMinimum Wage 2016Minimum Wage 2020

To view more 2016 state minimum wage highlights visit the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website. Earlier this year, Washington D.C. also passed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2020.  The NCSL also notes that Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed SB 1532, which will allow minimum wage increases annually in regard to the inflation rates based on the Consumer Price Index.

Because the minimum wage will continually change over the next few years, it will be important for employers to keep track of when the minimum wage change will occur in their state. Keeping track of when the increases occur will assist in avoiding accidental violations. Beyond these minimum wage changes, employers, and HR professionals will need to keep up with the ever-changing legislation in regard to worker’s benefits, employee scheduling regulations and other rights impacted by these new laws. Executing these changes and making sure your business is on top of new regulations is imperative. Ensure your staff members are prepared, and take a proactive approach to incorporating these changes to make the transition smoother.