The California legislature is considering several bills that would impact employers, including a minimum wage increase and extension of family leave rights. Another bill would protect employees who smoke medical marijuana.
The California Assembly is considering AB 10, a bill that would increase the state minimum wage from $8.00 to $8.50 per hour. Even more importantly, the bill includes a provision to increase the minimum wage each year based on inflation.
Currently at $8.00 per hour, the California minimum wage is tied with Massachusetts for the seventh highest in the nation, after Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois, Nevada and Vermont. About a dozen states have annual cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage, including Florida, Arizona and Colorado.
Expanded Family Leave
If passed, the expanded CFRA would permit employees to take time off to care for an adult son or daughter, a mother- or father-in-law, grandparent, sister or brother, grandson or granddaughter, or a domestic partner with a serious health condition.
The New York Department of Labor recently issued a wage order for the hospitality industry. The action is a response to continued violations by employers including tip misappropriation and overtime violations. Many of the provisions are more strict than those required by the federal FLSA or Fair Labor Standards Act.
The new wage order strictly limits payroll deductions a New York employer can take, in accordance with other recent policies. In addition, non-exempt hospitality employees must be hourly. While federal law permits an employer to pay non-exempt workers on a salary basis, the New York Hospitality Wage Order does not.
Important features of the new hospitality wage order:
Tipped employees who are not in foodservice, such as delivery persons and bellmen, must be paid at least $5.65 per hour, an increase of (more…)
New 2011 minimum wages for the states are:
Florida and Missouri, which usually update the minimum wage annually, will not have any increases. The Florida minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, with tipped employees entitled to $4.23 per hour. In Missouri, the minimum wage is also $7.25 per hour, while a tipped employee can be paid just $3.64 per hour.
Every employer should prominently display updated minimum wage and employment law posters in the workplace, in a location where they can be seen by all employees.
Washington’s minimum wage is the highest in 2011, while Oregon is in second place. The minimum wages in Connecticut, Illinois and Nevada are tied for third place at $8.25 per hour. However, Nevada employers who offer affordable group health insurance can pay just $7.25 per hour, the same as the federal minimum wage.
The Vermont minimum wage will be sixth highest in 2011 at $8.15 per hour. Massachusetts and California are tied for seventh place at $8.00 per hour. The minimum wage in Alaska is $7.75 while Maine and New Mexico require that employees be paid at least $7.50 per hour. The Rhode Island minimum wage rounds out the top dozen at $7.40 per hour.
In total, 14 states have minimum wages higher than the federal rate of $7.25 per hour, while 26 states have minimum wages the same as the federal minimum wage. Five states have lower minimum wages, while another five have no state minimum wage at all.
On the same date, the Colorado minimum wage for tipped employees will also increase 12 cents, from $4.22 to $4.34 per hour. Under Colorado law, employers can take a maximum tip credit against the minimum wage of $3.02 per hour. However, if the employee does not average at least $7.36 per hour in tips and wages combined, the employer must pay the difference as wages.
Colorado is one of a dozen states that provide for an annual adjustment in the state minimum wage based upon the cost of living. On January 1, 2010 the state minimum wage actually decreased 4 cents per hour from $7.28 to $7.24. However, most employees were still entitled to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The annual adjustment is base don the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the Denver-Boulder-Greeley combined metro area. Colorado is one of the few states that permit a reduction in the minimum wage.
The Colorado minimum wage generally applies to private sector (non-government) employees in certain industries including: retail, service, food, beverage, health, medical and commercial support service. It does not apply to government employees or those in manufacturing, construction or the wholesale industry.
The statues provide myriad (more…)
The Missouri minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour in 2011. Although Missouri statutes permit an annual adjustment of the minimum wage, a flat cost of living means there is no increase for the year. Due to a decrease in the regional Consumer Price Index for the year, there is no increase to the state minimum wage.
Each Missouri employer must prominently display employment law posters, including the state minimum wage.
The Missouri minimum wage applies to employers with $500,000 or more in annual revenue. It is the same as the federal minimum wage, which also applies to employees who engage in interstate commerce. A Missouri retail or service business, which does not engage in interstate commerce, and has annual revenue less than $500,000, is not covered by either law and can pay employees less than $7.25 per hour. Some agricultural workers are also exempt from the state statute.
Tipped employees in Missouri can be paid just $3.625 per hour. However, if the employee’s wages plus tips do not average $7.25 per hour over the payroll week, the employer must pay additional wages to bring the employee up to the minimum wage.