Published: Wed, January 02, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Local Business Reacts to Minimum Wage Increase

Local Business Reacts to Minimum Wage Increase

With Missouri's minimum wage rising to $8.60 an hour, Baldwin will see a 60-cent bump that she says will take some of the bite out of her monthly bills.

The District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage in the United States at $13.25 an hour. In Minnesota, the minimum wage for large employers or companies with revenues of $500,000 or more - was $9.65-an-hour, but rose to $9.86.

The remaining 21 states use the federal minimum wage: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

New York state's minimum wage is increasing to $11.10 per hour, $12 in Long Island and Westchester, $13.50 for small employers (10 or less) in New York City and $15 for big employers (11 or more).

In some places, the pay hikes are due to routine cost-of-living adjustments. The sharp minimum wage increases for 2019, up 10.9 percent from this year's, fueled the employers' anger as well.

One of the 2019 new laws in NY affects the state's building code, requiring all new and renovated buildings with publicly accessible restrooms to provide "safe and compliant changing tables". In some cases, these represent a step along the way to a planned eventual minimum wage of $15.

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Also as part of the new minimum wage law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is launching a Wage Theft Hotline at 1-800-4-NYSDOL, for New Yorkers to report employers who are not complying with the wage increase.

Seattle, the fastest-growing large city in the US, has been at the forefront of the movement for higher minimum wages. But the total of their salary and tips must at least equal the federal minimum wage.

Despite the national movement to raise wages for low-income workers, the state minimum wage is vastly different across the country. Many states are raising this maximum as well.

Not every minimum wage increase happens at the beginning of the year. Numerous states that voted to increase their minimums have also previously passed laws forbidding cities from setting their local wages higher.

The number of weeks employees can take paid family leave will continue to increase through 2021, at which point New Yorkers will be able to take 12 weeks of "job-protected, paid time off", per officials.

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