Arizona Supreme Court keeps challenge to Proposition 206 alive

by Dinita L. James

The uncertainty surrounding Proposition 206’s mandate of a $10 minimum wage for 2017 will continue for a few more weeks, as the Arizona Supreme Court has decided to consider business groups’ challenge to the voter-approved law. After a Valentine’s Day conference, Chief Justice Scott Bales announced in a five-sentence order that the court will hear argument on one of the two issues raised by the challengers.

The court set a hearing for March 9, 2017, on whether the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act adopted by Arizona voters in November 2016 violates the Revenue Source Rule of the Arizona Constitution and, if it does, what the appropriate remedy would be. The rule requires that any citizen initiatives that require the expenditure of state funds specify from where those funds will come.

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New Arizona minimum wage goes into effect January 1

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

The minimum wage in Arizona will jump from $8.05 to $10 on January 1 as a result of the passage of Proposition 206 in November.

A last-minute barrage of litigation by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry failed to block the increase from taking effect. On December 29, the Arizona Supreme Court entered a one-sentence order refusing to put the increase on hold.

Under the new law, the minimum wage will increase each year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2020. Employers can take a tip credit of up to $3 per hour for tips earned by workers who regularly and customarily receive tips.

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Florida minimum wage increasing to $8.10 on January 1

by Lisa Berg
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.

The minimum wage in Florida is set to go up five cents to $8.10 an hour on January 1. The current hourly minimum wage is $8.05. The increase is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region for the 12-month period prior to September 1, 2016.

Restaurant and hotel employers that take a tip credit may still take a credit of up to $3.02 per hour against the new minimum wage, meaning tipped employees must receive direct wages of at least $5.08 per hour starting January 1.

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New York minimum wage going up on December 31

December 14, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The first of a series of increases intended to bring New York’s state minimum wage to $15 an hour is set to go into effect on December 31.

As a result of a measure signed into law in April, the state will see minimum wage increases implemented on a regional basis. The state’s current basic minimum wage is $9 an hour.

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Categories: HR Hero Alerts / Minimum Wage / New York

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California’s minimum wage going up on January 1

December 12, 2016 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The minimum wage in California will rise to $10.50 an hour on January 1 for most employers thanks to a measure signed into law in April. Future incremental increases will put the state’s minimum wage at $15 an hour by January 2022 for employers with 26 or more employees. Smaller employers will have more time to reach the eventual $15 level.

The current minimum wage in California is $10 an hour. Under the new law, employers with 26 or more employees will see the minimum wage go to $10.50 on January 1, 2017.

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Court expedites appeal of overtime rule injunction

December 09, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

A federal appeals court will review the temporary injunction blocking new overtime regulations on an expedited schedule that wraps things up even faster than the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) had requested. But it still won’t reach a decision until after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, and that could mean the end of the overtime rule, according to some experts.

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the DOL’s motion for expedited review December 8. The court scheduled most briefing deadlines as the DOL had requested, but it slated final briefs for January 31 rather than the proposed February 7.

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Colorado voters OK minimum wage hikes

by Mark Wiletsky

On November 8, Colorado voters decided to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour over the next four years. By about a 54-46 margin, voters passed Amendment 70, which changes the Colorado Constitution to gradually raise the minimum wage.

Gradual increases in minimum wage

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States approve minimum wage, paid leave ballot questions

November 10, 2016 - by: Kate McGovern Tornone 0 COMMENTS

States with employment-related ballot questions mostly approved them during the November 8 election, and employers have little lead time before many measures will be implemented.

All told, 14 states have new provisions with which companies must comply, some as early as January 1, 2017.

Minimum wage

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Arizona voters approve increased minimum wage, paid sick leave

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

On November 8, nearly 60% of Arizona voters cast ballots in favor of increasing the state’s minimum wage and providing mandatory paid sick leave. The measure ensures that employers will have to pay at least $10 per hour beginning January 1, 2017. Thereafter, the minimum wage will increase by 50 cents each year until it reaches $12 per hour in 2020.

Based on unofficial returns, Proposition 206, the Healthy Working Families Initiative, passed by healthy margins in 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties, with only Graham County in the southeast corner of the state voting against it.

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Nevada Supreme Court clarifies connection between healthcare coverage, minimum wage

by Deanna L. Forbush

Nevada is unique in so many ways. For instance, unlike other states, Nevada has a constitutional provision that authorizes a two-tiered minimum wage. It’s called the Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA). Under the MWA, if an employer provides qualifying health benefits, a minimum-wage employee may be paid $1 per hour less than the upper-tier minimum wage. But what does “provide” mean? Must the employer actually enroll an employee in a qualifying health benefit plan? Or is it sufficient if the employer only “offers” a qualifying plan? That’s a significant distinction, with major economic ramifications for Nevada employers whose payrolls include minimum-wage employees.

In a unanimous opinion issued October 27, the full Nevada Supreme Court looked at the plain language of the MWA to conclude that “provide” means “offer,” thereby partially overruling a lower court’s finding that an employee must actually “enroll” in an employer’s health benefit plan before the employer is entitled to pay the lower-tier minimum wage.

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