New Year, New Minimum Wage Rates in 21 States and Many Localities

Author: Michael Cardman, Brightmine Legal Editor

January 6, 2020

As a new year dawned, the minimum wage increased in many states and localities across the country.

Some 21 states - Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, South Dakota and Vermont - all saw minimum wage increases on January 1 (or, in the case of New York, December 31).

Dozens of localities also raised their minimum wage rates, almost 20 of them in California alone. Meanwhile, local minimum wage laws took effect for the first time in several cities, including:

The last time the federal minimum wage was increased was more than a decade ago, in 2009 - to $7.25 per hour. Since then, several states and localities have filled in the gap with new minimum wage laws or increases to existing minimum wages.

Employers should carefully monitor the ever-shifting minimum wage landscape. Failure to comply with minimum wage laws can result in liability for back wages, liquidated damages, attorney fees and more.