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Workers Get Good News Across 20 States

For millions, a pay hike is coming
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 30, 2018 2:10 PM CST
In this Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 photo, Mike Wiggins, owner of Granny Shaffer's, works at the restaurant in Joplin, Mo.   (Roger Nomer/The Joplin Globe via AP)
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(Newser) – At Granny Shaffer's restaurant in Joplin, Missouri, owner Mike Wiggins is reprinting the menus to reflect the 5, 10, or 20 cents added to each item. A two-egg breakfast will cost an extra dime, at $7.39. The price of a three-piece fried chicken dinner will go up 20 cents, to $8.78. The reason: Missouri's minimum wage is rising. Wiggins says the price hikes are necessary to help offset an estimated $10,000 to $12,000 in additional annual pay to his staff as a result of a new minimum wage law taking effect Tuesday. "For us it's very simple. There's no big pot of money out there to get the money out of" for the required pay raises, Wiggins says.

New minimum wage requirements will take effect in 20 states and nearly two dozen cities around the start of the new year, affecting millions of workers. The state wage hikes range from an extra nickel per hour in Alaska to a $1-an-hour bump in Maine, Massachusetts, and for California employers with more than 25 workers. Seattle's largest employers will have to pay workers at least $16 an hour starting Tuesday. In New York City, many businesses will have to pay at least $15 an hour as of Monday. That's more than twice the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. In Arkansas and Missouri, voters this fall approved ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage after state legislators did not. In Missouri, the minimum wage will rise from $7.85 to $8.60 an hour on Tuesday as the first of five annual increases that will take it to $12 an hour by 2023. (See how Amazon was pressured into raising workers' pay.)


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