New York and California are the first states to pass a $15 minimum wage.
Since 2009 the federal minimum wage has been stagnant at $7.25 an hour, a number of states, cities and counties have been have set a minimum wage above the level specified by the federal government. Recently New York and California stepped it up a notch, passing bills that would set the minimum wage at $15 an hour for these two states.
Here’s what you need to know.
New York City’s minimum wage increase will not happen over night. From now till the end of 2016 the minimum wage will increase by $1 to $10 an hour. After that the wage will gradually increase to $15 an hour by December 31st, 2018. Small business with less than 10 employees will have an extra year.
The minimum wage in upstate New York will increase to $9.70 by the end of 2016. The hourly rate will then increase by 70 cents an hour each year until 2020, at which point it will be $12.50. How fast the upstate New York minimum wage reaches $15 an hour will depend on the indexed schedule it’s tied to, to be set by the governor’s budget director. It’s important to note that the wage could be suspended if it’s determined to be hurting the economy.
In Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the minimum will increase to $10 at the end of 2016, then by $1 each year until it hits $15 at the end of 2021.
In California the minimum wage would increase from $10 an hour to $10.50 in 2017, $11 an hour in 2018 followed by a yearly dollar increase each year through 2022. Businesses with 25 or fewer employees would get an extra year to comply. Wages will increase with inflation each year after that. During times of recession the governor could impose a delay on the wage hike.
These recent changes have been met with much fan fare and derision, as people all over the country weigh in on what this will mean for them, their family, business and community. What will these hikes mean for you? Let us know in the comments below.