Over the years, employees in the United States have fought to increase the federal minimum wage to $15/hr with many political leaders joining in the effort. The federal minimum wage has remained at $7.25/hr since 2009 and studies show that roughly two-thirds of Americans support an increase. With the new makeup of the Senate this year, this long-overdue increase is looking more likely than ever. In the meantime, many individual states have continued to increase their minimum wages in order to keep up with the cost of living in their regions.
Did your state increase its minimum wage? Let’s find out!
Minimum Wage Requirements
The minimum wage is the minimum that an employer can compensate an hourly employee for each hour they work. If an employer does not follow the law correctly, they may have to backpay employees or even face legal penalties down the road. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure that you’re paying employees accordingly.
*Keep in mind that you also must pay your salaried employees at least the salary basis requirement (which is currently now at $684/wk). If you have questions about salary base requirements, please see the DOL. Employers must pay their employees at least the minimum requirement.
Federal Vs. State Requirements
According to the Department of Labor, the federal minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 per hour. You may notice that many states‘ minimum wages are higher than the federal minimum wage. This is because they’ve chosen to increase their minimum wage due to the cost of living in their state. In cases like that, state law overrides the federal law. Additionally, some cities also have their own minimum wage requirements, and those laws override the state and federal laws. Overall, if you’re an employer, you will want to pay close attention to the minimum wage requirements in your area to stay compliant. If you’re unsure about your compensatory obligations, you may check with your HR expert or local labor board.
Please remember that no matter where you’re located the highest wage always applies. For example, California’s minimum wage in 2020 was $12.00/hr, however those in San Jose were compensated at $15.25/hr because the city’s minimum wage law overrode both state and federal laws.
States That Have Changed Their Minimum Wage Requirements
Although many states are increasing their minimum wage this year, only a few of them are adjusting their wages on January 1st. Some states are choosing to wait to raise the minimum wage until August or later.
Please note that if your state does not have its own wage requirement, you must follow the federal wage of $7.25 per hour.
Note: The wages below are for general informational purposes only. They are not to be used as legal or professional advice. See the DOL minimum wage map for the most up-to-date information.
- Alaska: Alaska’s wage increased by $0.15, making the new 2021 wage $10.34/hr. This went into effect on January 1st, 2021.
- Arizona: Their wage increased from $12.00/hr to $12.15/hr as of January 1st.
- Arkansas: Arkansas’ minimum wage increased $1.00, making the state’s wage $11.00/hr on January 1st.
- California: If you’re an employer with 26 employees or more, the minimum wage is $14.00/hr. If you have less than 26 employees, the wage is $13.00/hr.
- Colorado: In Colorado, they plan to increase the minimum wage annually based on the cost of living. As of 2021, the wage is $12.32/hr.
- Connecticut: On August 1st, the minimum wage will increase to $14.00/hr.
- Florida: Their new minimum wage is $8.65 (not to be confused with their previous wage– $8.56). This wage is expected to increase even more in September 2021.
- Illinois: The minimum wage in Illinois increased to $11.00/hr.
- Maine: Maine’s minimum wage increased from $10.00/hr to $11.00/hr in the year 2021.
- Maryland: Starting January 1st, the minimum wage is $11.75/hr
- Massachusetts: The new minimum wage as of January 1st is $13.50/hr
- Minnesota: Minnesota raised their minimum wage to $10.08 for Large employers ($500k+ revenue) and to $8.21 for small employers (less than $500k in revenue).
- Missouri: Effective January 1st, the minimum wage is now $10.30/hr.
- Montana: Montana’s minimum wage increased $0.10, which now totals to $8.75/hr.
- Nevada: Nevada’s new minimum wage is $9.75/hr.
- New Jersey: They increased the minimum wage to $12.00/hr, and plan to increase this rate to $15.00/hr by the year 2024.
- New Mexico: Their new minimum wage requirement is $10.50/hr.
- New York: Effective on December 31st, 2020, New York’s minimum wage is $12.50/hr.
- Ohio: Ohio raised its wages by $1.00, making the new minimum wage $8.80/hr.
- Oregon: They will increase their minimum wage to $12.75/hr on July 1st, 2021.
- South Dakota: With an increase of $0.15, their new minimum wage is $9.45/hr.
- Vermont: Vermont’s minimum wage increased to $11.75/hr on January 1st.
- Virginia: On May 1st, the minimum wage is said to increase to $9.50/hr.
- Washington: Minimum wage has increased to $13.69/hr.
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