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The AR Group

New Year ? New Minimum Wage?

By Victoria Aguilar

With the dawning of a New Year comes opportunity for change.? This is true particularly when it comes to the introduction of new legal standards.? So, as we crossed in to 2013, a spate of new minimum wage laws took effect in at least 11 states in which employers must confront cost increases.? This is true in:

Arizona:?The Industrial Commission of Arizona announced that the minimum wage increased from $7.65 to $7.80 per hour for non-exempt employees effective January 1, 2013. The minimum wage for tipped employees increased from $4.65 to $4.80 per hour, plus tips. Read more?

Colorado: The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment announced that the minimum wage increased from $7.64 to $7.78 per hour for non-tipped employees. The Department also announced that the minimum wage increased from to $4.62 to $4.76 per hour for tipped employees. Read more?

Florida:?It was announced that the minimum wage in Florida increased from $7.67 to $7.79 per hour, effective January 1, 2013. The minimum wage for tipped employees increased from $4.65 to $4.77 per hour, plus tips. Read more?

Missouri:? Minimum wage for nonexempt employees in Missouri increased from $7.25 to $7.35 per hour and compensation for tipped employees increased to $3.675 per hour.? Read more?

Montana:?The Montana Department of Labor & Industry announced that effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage increased from $7.65 to $7.80 per hour for non-exempt employees.? Read more?

Ohio:?The Ohio Department of Commerce announced that effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage increased from $7.70 to $7.85 per hour for non-tipped employees. In 2013, the minimum wage increases from at least $3.85 to at least $3.93 per hour, plus tips, for tipped employees. Note that the 2013 minimum wage provisions will only apply to business with annual gross receipts of more than $288,000 per year (in 2012: more than $283,000 per year).? Read more?

Oregon:?The Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries announced that effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage increased from $8.80 to $8.95 per hour for non-exempt employees. Read more?

Rhode Island:?The governor of Rhode Island signed two bills increasing the minimum wage from $7.40 to $7.75 per hour for non-exempt employees, effective January 1, 2013. Rhode Island permits employers to apply a tip credit toward satisfying its minimum wage obligations for tipped employees, and sets a minimum cash wage that tipped employees must be paid. However, that statute was not amended, so the minimum cash wage a tipped employee must be paid remains at $2.89 per hour. However, the tip credit an employer may apply increases from $4.51 to $4.86 per hour.? Read more?

Vermont:? The Vermont Department of Labor confirmed that minimum wage for non-exempt employees will increase from $8.46 to $8.60 per hour and from $4.17 to $4.43 per hour for tipped employees effective January 1, 2013. Read more?

Washington:?The Washington Department of Labor & Industries announced that effective January 1, 2013, the minimum wage will increase from $9.04 to $9.19 per hour for non-exempt employees.? Read more?

Notably, the federal minimum wage remains steady at $7.25 per hour with no immediate change in sight. Of course, minimum wage and other laws can change at any time during the year.? ?For example, it is anticipated that both New Jersey and Nevada will announce minimum wage increases sometime early in 2013.

SMART TIP:? Employers are wise to stay abreast of developments on the federal, state, and local levels. Remember that most states require employers to maintain posters that include minimum wage information. Take action to ensure that the information is up-to-date.? Also, when drafting policies, employers should indicate that they will comply with then in-effect state and federal regulations and refrain from being too specific so that when laws change (which they will), they will not need to continuously update the particulars within company policy.