Los Angeles, San Francisco minimum wages going up July 1

June 12, 2017 0 COMMENTS

Employers in Los Angeles and San Francisco must prepare to pay higher minimum wages starting July 1.

In the city of Los Angeles and the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, the minimum wage is going to $12 an hour on July 1 for businesses with more than 25 employees, up from $10.50 an hour. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have to pay at least $10.50 an hour, up from $10 an hour. Unincorporated areas of Los Angeles are the areas of the county that aren’t governed by local city governments.

San Francisco’s minimum wage will go from $13 an hour to $14 an hour on July 1.

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$15 minimum wage clears Baltimore City Council

March 21, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Kevin C. McCormick

On March 20, the Baltimore City Council voted 11-3 to approve a bill that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. If ultimately enacted, the minimum wage would be the highest in Maryland.

Under the proposed legislation, the minimum wage for employees working in the city would rise to $15 an hour by 2022. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees would have until 2026 to reach that threshold. There are exceptions for employees younger than 21 and workers who participate in training programs through the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

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Arizona Supreme Court upholds minimum wage, paid leave law

March 15, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Dinita L. James
Gonzalez Law, LLC

In a three-sentence order entered just before the close of business March 14, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act, commonly known as Proposition 206. The unanimous ruling dashed the last remaining hope of business groups trying to block the voter initiative, which raised the state’s minimum wage to $10 per hour on January 1 and mandates paid sick leave for most employees beginning July 1, 2017.

More than 58 percent of Arizona voters approved the law on the November 2016 ballot. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry led the legal challenge to the law, arguing it violated the Revenue Source Rule in the Arizona Constitution, which makes any citizen initiative that requires the expenditure of state funds specify from where the funds will come.

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Arizona Supreme Court keeps challenge to Proposition 206 alive

February 15, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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 AZ minimum wage takes effect January 1

December 30, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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

December 22, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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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Colorado voters OK minimum wage hikes

November 10, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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 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

November 09, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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

October 28, 2016 0 COMMENTS

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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