Election results halt minimum wage initiatives in two Maine cities

by Connor Beatty

On November 3, voters in Portland and Bangor rejected attempts to raise the minimum wage in those cities.

In Portland, voters rejected a proposal that would have increased the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour. The ordinance would have required all businesses and franchises employing 500 or more employees to raise wages to $15 per hour by 2017, with all other businesses following suit by 2019.

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Judge strikes down St. Louis minimum wage increase

October 15, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

St. Louis employers aren’t facing a phased-in $11 minimum wage now that a state judge has struck down a local ordinance that would have given the city a higher minimum wage than the rest of Missouri. The current minimum wage in Missouri is $7.65 per hour, 40 cents higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer struck down the ordinance on October 14, a day before the first increase was to go into effect. In August, St. Louis passed the ordinance, which would have raised the minimum wage for workers in the city to $8.25 an hour on October 15. Under the ordinance, the minimum wage would have climbed to $9 an hour on January 1, 2016, $10 an hour on January 1, 2017, and $11 an hour on January 1, 2018.

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Franchisee group calls ruling on Seattle wage law discriminatory

September 28, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Franchisers in Seattle are faced with phasing in the city’s $15-an-hour minimum wage more quickly than they had hoped now that the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected their bid to be classified as small businesses, a decision the franchisers call discriminatory.

In 2014, Seattle passed a minimum wage law that requires employers to phase in the new $15 minimum wage over the next few years. Employers with 500 or fewer employees have more time to implement the change than employers with more than 500 workers.

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New Connecticut law makes wage infractions more dangerous

by John Herrington

A new Connecticut law taking effect October 1 requires courts to award double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees for most employee wage claims.

Under the new law—Public Act 15-86, the “Act Concerning an Employer’s Failure to Pay Wages”—a court must award, as a baseline default, double damages plus court costs and attorneys’ fees if it finds that an employer has (1) failed to pay an employee’s wages, accrued fringe benefits, or arbitration award or (2) failed to meet the law’s requirements for an employee’s minimum wage or overtime rates.

Before the new law, which applies to all Connecticut employers, courts consistently held that awards for double damages and attorneys’ fees required the employee to establish facts sufficient to support a finding of bad faith, arbitrariness, or unreasonableness by the employer. Under the new law, that burden shifts from employees to employers.

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Appeals court revives new homecare worker rules on minimum wage, overtime

August 25, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requiring minimum wage and overtime pay for many homecare workers is set to take effect after a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The DOL instituted a rule in 2013 that removed the domestic service exemption for homecare workers hired by third-party agencies. Previously, workers providing companionship or live-in care for the elderly and disabled were exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) even if they were employed by a third party.

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New York fast-food employers bracing for $15 minimum wage

July 24, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

New York fast-food workers may be celebrating the likelihood of a $15-an-hour minimum wage phased in over the next few years, but others are questioning the justification offered for the raise.kitchen of a chinese restaurant

A three-member wage board appointed by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recommended the new minimum wage for fast-food workers July 22. It won’t take effect without an order from the state’s acting labor commissioner, which is expected.

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McDonald’s joins Wal-Mart in boosting wages

April 02, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The wage and benefit increases McDonald’s announced on April 1 put the fast-food giant on the same path retailer Wal-Mart took in February when it announced an increase in its starting wage.

McDonald’s announced that beginning July 1, it will raise starting pay at company-owned restaurants to $1 over the locally mandated minimum wage. Full- and part-time workers at company-owned restaurants who have at least one year of service also will begin accruing paid time off. And workers at both company-owned and franchised restaurants will see expanded educational opportunities.

The company says the wage and time-off benefits will affect more than 90,000 workers at about 10 percent of McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.

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Seattle’s new minimum wage ordinance takes effect April 1

by Valerie Hughes and Aurora Janke

Seattle’s new minimum wage ordinance goes into effect April 1, meaning employers—regardless of size—must pay employees working in the city at least $11 per hour.

Employers with 501 or more employees must pay a “minimum wage” of $11 per hour, while employers with 500 or fewer employees must pay a “minimum compensation” rate of $11 per hour. The definition of “minimum wage” includes wages, commissions, piece-rate pay, and bonuses received by employees. “Minimum compensation” includes wages, tips, and money paid by an employer toward employees’ medical benefits. Thus, small employers are able to count tips and medical benefit payments to help them reach the $11 minimum compensation rate.

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New York tipped minimum cash wage to rise to $7.50 an hour

by Charles H. Kaplan

Tipped workers in New York will see the minimum cash wage rise to $7.50 an hour on December 31, 2015, following a February 24 order by New York State Acting Commissioner of Labor Mario Musolino.

The order will reduce the tip credit to a $1.50 deduction from New York’s minimum wage of $9 per hour, effective at the end of the year. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo calls the increase necessary to keep full-time tipped workers from living in poverty. However, many employers view the rise in the minimum cash wage as counterproductive.

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Nebraska minimum wage increases to $8 per hour on January 1

by Mark M. Schorr

Because of the passage of the Nebraska minimum wage petition initiative in the November general election, the state’s minimum wage will increase to $8 per hour on January 1, 2015. Nebraska employers that employ individuals at or near the minimum wage should take steps to ensure compliance with the new requirement.

Also, to plan ahead for next year, on January 1, 2016, the Nebraska minimum wage will increase to $9 per hour.

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Categories: Minimum Wage / Nebraska


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