By: Bob Shea
Employers in 13 states begin 2014 with higher minimum wage requirements. Now, 21 states have minimum wage rates exceeding the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. Here in New England, as of January 1, 2014, Connecticut’s minimum wage rate is $8.70 (and will go to $9.00 on January 1, 2015), Rhode Island’s rate is $8.00, and Vermont’s rate is $8.73. Minimum wage rates in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire remain at $7.50, $8.00, and $7.25, respectively. Also, note New York’s minimum wage rate will go from $8.00 to $8.75 on December 31, 2014 and to $9.00 on December 31, 2015.
Minimum wage increases are also being discussed in several other states, including Massachusetts. Proposed legislation in Massachusetts would increase the minimum wage rate from $8.00 to $11.00 over three years. The minimum wage is also a hot topic on Capitol Hill where Democrats are seeking a significant increase in the federal minimum wage rate, which has been at its current rate of $7.25 per hour since 2009.