Arizona, Colorado, Maine & Washington approve hikes in wage floor
Voters in four states approved increases in their respective minimum wage at the polls this November. In two of the states, Arizona and Washington, employers must now provide paid sick leave.
In Arizona, 59% of voters approved an increase in the wage floor to $10 an hour in 2017, up from the present $8.05. Future increases will raise the wage to $12 by 2020. After the scheduled increases, the minimum wage will be adjusted annually to account for inflation. Employees who receive tips may be paid $3.00 less per hour than the then-current minimum wage. Arizona Proposition 206 also requires employers to provide paid sick leave (40 hours per year for large employers; 24 hours annually for small businesses).
In Colorado, Amendment 70 was approved by 55% of voters. The measure raises the state’s minimum wage from the present $8.31 to $9.30 per hour on January 1, 2017, and increases the wage in stages to $12.00 per hour by the beginning of 2020. Afterward, the wage floor is indexed for inflation. No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage paid to employees who regularly receive tips.
Maine voters approved an increase in its current $7.50 minimum hourly pay to $12.00 by 2020 with later increases tied to inflation. Question 4, approved by 56% of voters, will also phase-out the tip credit by 2024 when employers will be required to pay tipped employees the full minimum wage.
Initiative 1433, approved by 57% of voters in Washington, raises that state’s wage floor for workers age 18 and older to $11.00 in 2017, up from the present $9.47, and then gradually to $13.50 per hour in 2020. Beginning in 2021, the minimum wage floor will be adjusted annually for inflation. The state currently has no tip credit; tipped employees in Washington must be paid the full minimum wage. Also, employers will now be required to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.
In Missouri, a group that has previously proposed minimum wage increases has submitted initiative petitions to the Secretary of State for the purpose of placing the question of a pay increase to as high as $15 an hour, and a reduction or elimination of the tip credit, on the ballot for the November 2018 election. Other petitions submitted by the group would require Missouri employers to provide paid sick leave.