Over the past year, Massachusetts and Connecticut passed laws increasing the minimum wage in those states, and the first installment of those increases goes into effect on January 1, 2015. As a result, employers must update their hourly wages to comply with the increase. Effective tomorrow, Massachusetts’ minimum wage will be $9.00 per hour, and Connecticut’s minimum wage will be $9.15 per hour.
The laws in those states also provide for further increases over the next few years, with Massachusetts’ minimum wage increasing to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016 and $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2017. Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage will increase to $9.60 on January 1, 2016 and $10.10 on January 1, 2017.
For tipped employees in Massachusetts, the minimum wage increases to $3.00 per hour effective January 1, 2015; to $3.35 per hour on January 1, 2016; and to $3.75 per hour on January 1, 2017. For tipped hotel and restaurant employees in Connecticut, the hourly minimum wage increases to $5.78 on January 1, 2015; $6.07 on January 1, 2016; and $6.38 per hour on January 1, 2017. Connecticut bartenders will receive a minimum wage increase $7.46 on January 1, 2015; $7.82 on January 1, 2016; and $8.23 on January 1, 2017.
Employers who are federal contractors must also increase the minimum wage for workers on their federal contracts on January 1, 2015. As promised during his State of the Union address, President Obama issued an Executive Order Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors, raising the minimum wage that federal contractors must pay to their employees to $10.10 per hour effective January 1, 2015. In addition, the Order provides that the minimum wage will increase every subsequent year by the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The Order also includes an increase in the minimum wage for tipped employees of federal contractors, to $4.90 an hour effective January 1, 2015 and increasing every year thereafter according to an algorithm set forth in the Order with the goal of raising the minimum wage for tipped employees to an amount equal to 70% of the minimum wage for traditional employees.