Although we share this reminder with our retained clients each December, we want to ensure employers are up to speed on the minimum wage ripple effect. Savvy employers know the minimum wage for non-exempt/hourly employees has risen once again (and will continue to do so in our great state.) However, the impact for exempt employees may come as a surprise. Almost everyone benefits from the rising tide. Check it out….
Senate Bill 3 (“SB 3”) passed in 2016 detailed an increase of the state’s minimum wage over future years, providing smaller employers one additional year to reach the level of larger employers’ minimum wage rates. On January 1, 2019, the state minimum wage increased from $11.00 per hour to $12.00 per hour for all employers with 26 or more employees and from $10.50 per hour to $11.00 per hour for all employers with fewer than 26 employees.
The minimum wage will increase for employers with 26 or more employees as follows:
- January 1, 2019 — $12.00 per hour
- January 1, 2020 — $13.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021 — $14.00 per hour
- January 1, 2022 — $15.00 per hour
For employers with fewer than 26 employees, the minimum wage increases will roll out one year later, on the following schedule:
- January 1, 2019 — $11.00 per hour
- January 1, 2020 — $12.00 per hour
- January 1, 2021 — $13.00 per hour
- January 1, 2022 — $14.00 per hour
- January 1, 2023 — $15.00 per hour
After 2022/2023, the minimum wage will automatically increase by up to 3.5 percent based on the CPI. By August 1 of each year (after the scheduled increases above) the State Director of Finance will calculate an adjusted minimum wage to be effective the following January 1. There are some provisions allowing the Governor to temporarily suspend the minimum wage increase scheduled for the following year.
This increase also affects the minimum salary for exempt employees, who must earn at least two times the state minimum wage in order to meet the salary test for the white-collar exemption. On January 1, 2019, exempt employees of employers with 26 or more employees must earn at least $49,920 per year and exempt employees of employers with fewer than 26 employees must earn at least $45,760.