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.
The Arizona minimum wage for tipped employees also increases 10 cents from $4.25 to $4.35 per hour on the same date. Arizona includes car wash attendants, hair dressers, barbers, valets and service bartenders as tipped employees, along with waiters, waitresses and busboys. However, if the tipped employees wages and tips do not average at least $7.35 per hour worked (more…)
Thirty-two U.S. states have laws that require employers to give workers time off to vote. These include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
The new Minnesota voter leave law reported last week is just the most recent in a long series of state voting laws. That law requires that employers pay the employee for time off to vote, even when the employee has sufficient time to vote during off-duty hours.
Some states with voting laws require unpaid time off on election day to vote. In many cases, 2 hours is deemed sufficient time for the employee to travel to the polling place, vote and return to work, although some states require 3 hours. Some states require unpaid time off only if the employee’s schedule does not otherwise afford him or her sufficient time on election day to vote, while polls are open.
Some states including Alabama and Kentucky also require an employer to give unpaid time off to a worker to serve as an election official.
Employers are required to pay workers for voting time (more…)
A recent ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court opens the door for more litigation by employees in the Volunteer State. This ruling means it will be much easier for an employee to sue an employer for discrimination in state court than in federal court.
On September 20, 2010, Tennessee’s highest court suddenly ruled that a different standard will apply to summary judgments from now on. Summary judgments are often used by employers to nip discrimination suits in the bud. When the employer wins an early summary judgment, the employee’s lawsuit cannot go forward. This is often the first line of defense that an employer has against an employee’s claim of illegal discrimination.
In Gossett v. Tractor Supply Co., the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that an employee had the right to sue the employer for illegal discrimination simply because she was reassigned after filing a complaint of sexual harassment against her supervisor. This was true, no matter how reasonable and justified the employer’s reason for the reassignment was.
This groundbreaking decision authored by Justice Janice Holder overturned the previous ruling in Allen v. McPhee, where a female employee was reassigned after complaining of harassment “to protect her from any further sexual harassment.”
Until now, Tennessee has used the McDonnell Douglas framework for determining summary judgments, the same legal test used by federal courts. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that when an employer (more…)
Minnesota now requires that employees be given paid time off at any time of day to vote. State legislators amended the voting leave statute in 2010, strengthening what was already one of the strongest voting leave laws in the country.
Under the new law, an employee in Minnesota must be allowed to be absent from work at any time of day to vote. This includes allowing time to travel to the polling place, cast a ballot and return to work. The employer must grant this time off even if the employee has sufficient time when polls are open to vote outside work hours.
The previous version of the law required only that the employer allow time off in the morning. Under the newly amended law, the employer may be required to permit sufficient time off at any time of day, including afternoon, evening or night.
In addition, the Minnesota voting law requires that employees be paid to vote. The law specifies that the employee will not be penalized or have wages deducted (more…)