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Workers in New England states look forward to minimum wage increase in 2024 – WTOP News

BOSTON (AP) — Workers in several New England states are eagerly awaiting a minimum wage increase…

BOSTON (AP) — Workers in several New England states are looking forward to a minimum wage increase in 2024, while advocates in Massachusetts are proposing a ballot question to phase out the $6.75 minimum wage from hour for tipped workers.

In Rhode Island, the current minimum wage of $13 will increase by $1 to $14 per hour on January 1. This is the next step in a gradual increase that will reach $15 in 2025.

In Vermont, the state minimum wage will reach $13.67, an increase of $0.49 from the current wage of $13.18. The annual adjustment also affects the minimum wage for tipped workers, which will increase from $6.59 to $6.84 an hour.

Maine will see its hourly minimum wage increase from $13.80 to $14.15 per hour. Maine requires annual minimum wage adjustments based on the cost of living. Portland increases its municipal minimum wage from $14 to $15. The state’s new wage in 2024 will be $7.08 per hour.

The minimum wage in Connecticut will increase from the current hourly rate of $15.00 to $15.69 – the highest in New England. Beginning January 1 and each year after January 1, wages will be adjusted based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment Cost Index calculation.

Massachusetts’ minimum wage will remain at $15 an hour in 2024, although a campaign is underway to raise the wage again to $20.

New Hampshire continues to have the lowest minimum wage in New England, matching the federal wage of $7.25. State lawmakers have rejected several attempts to increase it in recent years.

New England states are among 20 states raising the minimum wage for workers, widening the gap between state requirements and the federal minimum wage, which is steady at $7.25. hour since July 2009. In several states, the new minimum will more than double that amount. rate.

In Massachusetts, advocates are proposing a ballot question that would phase out the state’s “service rate” that allows restaurants to pay workers $6.75 an hour if tips make up the difference between that amount and the state’s $15 minimum wage. According to the question, the service tariff would end by 2029.

Organizers with the One Fair Wage group said they have collected enough signatures to overcome an initial hurdle to securing a spot on next year’s ballot.

“Massachusetts voters are ready to abandon outdated wage practices and move toward a system that ensures dignity, justice and economic security for all workers,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, in a statement. written declaration:

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association opposes the issue, saying a restaurant’s highest-paid employees are those who receive a tip, often averaging $20, $30 and sometimes even $50 an hour.

A restaurant owner can employ more than two full-time servers for the same hourly rate as a minimum-wage employee, said Jessica Muradian of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

“It’s a win for the tipped employee because they are the highest paid employee in the restaurant, it’s a win for the customer who gets a full service experience, and a win for the restaurateur who can employ as many people as possible,” she said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Labor also announced a proposed rule in August that would allow an additional 3.6 million workers to receive overtime.

The proposed regulations would require employers to pay overtime to employees in managerial, administrative and professional positions but earning less than $1,059 per week, or $55,068 per year for full-time employees. This salary threshold is up from $35,568.

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