As employers wait to see whether, when, and to what extent the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's minimum wage might increase in the near future, many other jurisdictions have continued to raise their rates to levels higher than the FLSA's current $7.25 an hour. Of course, covered employers must ensure that they are paying not less than the FLSA minimum or any higher required rate(s) applying to their non-exempt workers.
Employers should review the summary linked below to be sure that they are aware of all applicable state-law increases for 2017. Note that this chart:
◊ Relates to only to private-sector employers;
◊ Does not include higher rates that might apply to some employers or employees by virtue of things like government-contract obligations or the requirements of cities, counties, or other localities; and
◊ Does not address any exceptions relating to tipped employees.
As we have said in the past, the substantial disparities among these jurisdictions suggest the inappropriateness of the one-size-fits-all, top-down, Washington-knows-best approach enshrined in the FLSA nearly 80 years ago. Voters and officials in states, counties, and cities are much better-placed to judge on the basis of their own economies and other circumstances whether, by how much, and when to increase a minimum wage rate. If one jurisdiction or another makes a poor choice, then at least the effects (and accountabilities) will fall directly upon those who made it.