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2019 Minimum Wage Rate Increases: The List Grows

While the federal minimum wage has remained stalled at $7.25 an hour since 2009, there has been significant movement at the state level, with some states enacting a minimum wage rate that is now more than double the federal level.

Seattle is currently the leader for 2019, increasing its minimum wage to $16.00 per hour beginning in January for large employers (those with more than 500 employees). New York is close behind, increasing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour for large employers located in New York City, though the state minimum will be $11.10 in 2019.

Many minimum wage increases scheduled for next year stem from statutes passed in 2016 or earlier that included pre-determined annual “stepped” increases or potential annual increases based on a particular consumer price index (CPI). But several new states that enacted increases this year (e.g., Delaware, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Missouri) joined the club as a result of successful voter initiatives.

The majority of the upcoming minimum wage increases will go into effect on January 1 of next year (or the day before in New York). Others, including many municipal increases, will take effect on July 1, 2019.

Furthermore, the minimum wage for “tipped” employees, where allowed, is not reflected in this update, nor are the “living wage” ordinances passed by some municipalities and applicable only to that local government’s employees, contractors, program beneficiaries, and the like.

Minimum wage increases effective January 1, 2019 (December 31, 2018, for New York):

Jurisdiction
Rate
Increase
Alaska (statewide) $9.89 $0.05
Arizona (statewide) $11.00 $0.50
    Flagstaff $12.00 $1.00
Arkansas (statewide) $9.25 $0.75
California* (statewide) $12.00 (26+ employees) $1.00
  $11.00 (≤25 employees) $0.50
Delaware (statewide) $8.75 $0.50
Florida (statewide) $8.46 $0.21
Maine (statewide) $11.00 $1.00
Massachusetts (statewide) $12.00 $1.00
Minnesota (statewide) $9.86 ($500K+ revenue) $0.21
  $8.04 (<$500K revenue) $0.17
Missouri (statewide) $8.60 $0.75
Montana (statewide) $8.50 $0.20
New Jersey (statewide) $8.85 $0.25
New Mexico    
    Albuquerque $9.20 $0.25
  $8.20 (if employer pays at least $2,500 annually toward healthcare or childcare)  
    Bernalillo County  $9.05  $0.20
    Las Cruces $10.10 $0.65
New York (statewide) $11.10 $0.70
  $12.75 (fast food workers) $1.00
    Nassau/Suffolk/Westchester Counties $12.00 $1.00
  $12.75 (fast food workers) $1.00
    New York City (>10 employees) $15.00 $2.00
  $15.00 (fast food workers) $1.25
    New York City (≤10 employees) $13.50 $1.50
  $15.00 (fast food workers) $1.50
Ohio (statewide) $8.55 $0.25
  $7.25 (gross sales <$314K)  
Rhode Island (statewide) (most employees) $10.50 $0.40
South Dakota (statewide) $9.10 $0.25
Vermont (statewide) $10.78 $0.28
Washington** (statewide) $12.00 $0.50
    Seattle (500+ employees in U.S.) $16.00 $1.00
    Seattle (<500 employees in U.S.) $12.00 $0.50
    SeaTac (hospitality & transportation workers) $16.09 $0.45
    Tacoma $12.35 $0.35

Minimum wage increases effective July 1, 2019 (unless otherwise stated):
[Note: Some jurisdictions base their minimum wage increase, if any, on a year-end consumer price index and, therefore, have not yet determined the 2019 rate(s).]

Jurisdiction
Rate
Increase
Delaware (statewide) (Oct. 1) $9.25 $0.50
District of Columbia (district-wide) $14.00 $0.75
Illinois (Chicago) $13.00 $1.00
Maryland (Montgomery County) $13.00 (51+ employees) $0.75
  $12.50 (11-50 employees) $0.50
  $12.50 (≤10 employees) $0.50
Minnesota (Minneapolis) $12.25 (101+ employees) $1.00
  $11.00 (≤100 employees) $0.75
Oregon    
    “Non-Urban” Counties $11.00 $0.50
    Portland Metro  $12.50  $0.50
    All Other Counties $11.25 $0.50

*California has approximately 20 different city, county, or other local hourly minimum wage rates, many of which are now at $15.00 or more. 

**For “Schedule 2” employers (<500 employees) in Seattle, the minimum hourly wage will be $12.00, but the minimum hourly compensation will be $15.00. The additional $3.00 may be based on wages, tips, bonuses, commissions, or medical benefits contributions.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2018

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About this Author

Jeffrey Brecher, Jackson Lewis, Management Arbitration Lawyer, Labor Litigation Attorney
Principal

Jeffrey W. Brecher is a Principal in the Long Island, New York, office of Jackson Lewis, and is Practice Group Leader of the firm's Wage and Hour practice. He has litigated hundreds of cases, defending management at arbitration, before state and federal administrative agencies and at trial.

Mr. Brecher regularly advises clients on compliance with various state and federal laws affecting the workplace, including discrimination and related claims arising under Title VII, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with...

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Richard Greenberg, Jackson Lewis, workplace grievances lawyer, arbitrations litigation attorney
Principal

Richard Greenberg is a Principal in the New York City, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He advises both unionized and union-free clients on a full-range of labor and employee relations matters.

With respect to traditional labor matters, Mr. Greenberg represents clients in collective bargaining negotiations, labor disputes, grievances and arbitrations, proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, and in state and federal court. Mr. Greenberg also advises clients on the legal aspects of remaining union-free. With respect to employee relations matters, Mr. Greenberg has extensive experience assisting clients in numerous industries with the development and maintenance of personnel policies and personnel infrastructures. In this regard, Mr. Greenberg often works on these issues with clients as business needs and culture change as a result of business transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions.

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