- The Fairness Project and leaders of minimum wage initiatives in four key states released a joint ballot fact sheet on voter support of minimum wage measures to be voted on next week. The data covers Washington State, Colorado, Arizona and Maine. The Fairness Project is an advocate for voter participation in elections and ballot-box initiatives.
- Minimum wage is front and center on ballot boxes across the country. In the four states, 12.3 million voters will decide on minimum wage increases for 2.4 million employees. Nationwide, 41.7 million workers earn below $12 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25, which was set in 2009.
- In Colorado, residents will vote on a minimum wage of $9.30 an hour, with 90ȼ increases each year until it reaches $12 in 2020. Maine’s 1,260,000 voters will decide on a $9.00 per hour increase in 2017, which increases to $12 by 2020. Arizona voters will decide on a $10 increase for next year and a $12 increase by 2020. Washington’s proposed minimum wage increases are $11.00 for workers 18 and over in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12 in 2019 and $13.50 in 2020.
With Election Day 2016 arriving in just four days, employers should be well aware of the possibility that their workers could be voting to raise (or even lower) the minimum wage in their area, along with other measures that may cause compliance headaches if not monitored correctly. We've gathered all such proposed initiatives here, for our readers' convenience.
Since minimum wages differ by state and increase at intervals, employers will need to keep up with the changes in their own state to make sure they’re paying workers the correct rate. Local ordinances (mandated by city governments, for example) face their own legal challenges, so keep tabs on such litigation should your organization operate in an area like Birmingham, Ala. States may set minimum wages as high as they want but not below the federal minimum.