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Voters Pass Minimum Wage Initiatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota

Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota voters have passed minimum wage ballot measures. In all of these states, except for Illinois, the state minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2015.

Alaska’s minimum wage will increase to $8.75 effective January 1, 2015, and to $9.75 effective January 1, 2016. After that, the state minimum wage will be adjusted automatically based on inflation or remain $1 higher than the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater.

In Arkansas, the minimum wage will increase in three steps: to $7.50 an hour effective January 1, 2015, to $8.00 an hour effective January 1, 2016, and to $8.50 an hour effective January 1, 2017.

The nonbinding ballot measure passed by Illinois voters (Minimum Wage Increase Referendum Act) asked whether they support increasing the state minimum wage to $10.00 by January 1, 2015. 

Nebraska voters approved raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9.00 per hour by January 1, 2016, in two steps. The state minimum wage will increase to $8.00 per hour on January 1, 2015, then $9.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. Since enacting the Wage and Hour Act in 1967, giving the state the authority to establish a minimum wage, the state’s minimum wage has not been higher than the federal minimum wage, until now. 

The minimum wage in South Dakota will increase to $8.50 per hour effective January 1, 2015. In succeeding years, automatic annual increases will be based on inflation. 

In addition, voters approved minimum wage ballot initiatives in the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. San Francisco’s minimum wage will increase incrementally from the current minimum wage of $10.74 an hour to $15 an hour by 2018. Oakland’s Measure FF, which passed with 81 percent of the vote, raises the city’s minimum wage from $9.00 an hour to $12.25 an hour starting in March and guarantees five paid sick days a year for workers.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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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....

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Kenneth Wentz, Litigation Manager, Employment, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Principal and Office Litigation Manager

Kenneth M. Wentz, III, is a Principal and Litigation Manager in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is the Litigation Manager for the Rapid City, South Dakota, office. He concentrates exclusively on the representation of management in litigation and the resolution of employment disputes.

Mr. Wentz serves as an advocate for employers in federal and state courts throughout the Midwest and California, prevailing on numerous motions to dismiss and obtaining summary judgments to gain victory and avoid the expense of trial where possible. Mr. Wentz...

402-391-1991
Jacqueline Langland, Jackson Lewis, Management Representation Lawyer, Gender Justice Attorney
Associate

Jacqueline F. Langland is an Associate in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management in all aspects of labor and employment law.

During her studies at the University of Iowa College of Law, Ms. Langland was a full-tuition Law Merit Scholarship recipient. While in law school, she was an Articles Editor for the Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, a Research Assistant for a professor, and a student legal intern at the College of Law’s Legal Clinic. After law school, she clerked for...

402-391-1991