With very little fanfare or media attention, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed a bill into law the day before he left office that establishes parental leave in Massachusetts for both female and male employees. Effective April 7, 2015, the new law will replace the current Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (MLA), which provides only female employees with eight weeks of job-protected maternity leave for the birth or adoption of a child. Extending parental leave to male employees will require significant policy changes for Massachusetts employers with less than 50 employees, as they are not already covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which applies to both male and female employees.
After a January 1st increase of 15 cents per hour, Oregon’s minimum wage now stands at $9.25 – exactly two dollars per hour more than the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. That places Oregon near the top of the list of 29 states with minimum wage rates higher than the federal rate. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only Washington and the District of Columbia have minimum wage rates higher than Oregon at $9.47 and $9.50 respectively.
The Colorado minimum wage increased by 23 cents to $8.23 per hour on January 1, 2015. Tipped employees are entitled to receive at least $5.21 per hour. These increases to Colorado’s minimum wage rates reflect the annual adjustment for inflation required by the Colorado Constitution.
Beginning January 1, 2015, the minimum wage in New Jersey is $8.38 per hour, up from $8.25 per hour. This pay hike is the result of the November 2013 voter-approved state constitutional amendment that requires that New Jersey’s minimum wage be adjusted annually to reflect any percentage increase of the consumer price index for all urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W) for the prior year. Because the CPI-W increased by 1.59 percent from August 2013 to August 2014, the state minimum wage for 2015 was raised by 1.59 percent, or thirteen cents per hour.
Minimum wage workers in Ohio will see their hourly pay increase by 15 cents in 2015. Effective January 1st, the Ohio minimum wage rate increased from $7.95 to $8.10 per hour. The minimum wage rate for tipped employees is one-half that, or $4.05 per hour. The increased rates are due to the annual adjustment for inflation required by the Ohio Constitution.
On January 1, 2015, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. This is the first of three annual minimum wage rate hikes that Massachusetts employers will face due to legislation signed into law last June.