February 26, 2024

Native Information

In Massachusetts, advocates are pushing a poll query that may part out the state’s “service charge” which lets eating places pay staff $6.75 an hour if suggestions make up the distinction between that and the state’s $15 minimal wage.

An indication advertises for assist at The Goldenrod, a preferred restaurant and sweet store in York Seaside, Maine in June 2022. AP Picture/Robert F. Bukaty, File

BOSTON (AP) — Staff in a number of New England states are wanting ahead to a bump up within the minimal wage in 2024 whereas advocates in Massachusetts are pushing a poll query aimed toward phasing out the state’s subminimum wage of $6.75 per hour for tipped staff.

In Rhode Island, the state’s present $13 minimal wage will soar by $1 to $14 an hour on Jan. 1. It’s the subsequent step in a phased-in enhance that can attain $15 in 2025.

In Vermont, the state’s minimal wage will attain $13.67 — climbing $0.49 from the present $13.18 wage. The annual adjustment additionally impacts the minimal wage for tipped staff, which is able to tick up from $6.59 to $6.84 per hour.

Maine will see its hourly minimal wage tick up from $13.80 to $14.15 per hour. Maine requires annual changes to the minimal wage based mostly on the cost-of-living. Portland is pushing its metropolis minimal wage from $14 to $15. The state’s new tipped wage in 2024 can be $7.08 per hour.

The minimal wage in Connecticut will rise from the present charge of $15.00 per hour to $15.69 — the best in New England. Starting Jan. 1, and occurring yearly every following Jan. 1, the wage can be adjusted based on the U.S. Division of Labor’s calculation of the employment value index.

Massachusetts’ minimal wage will stay at $15 per hour in 2024, though there’s a marketing campaign to hike the wage once more to $20.

New Hampshire continues to have the bottom minimal wage in New England, matching the federal wage of $7.25. State lawmakers have defeated a number of makes an attempt to extend it in recent times.

The New England states are amongst 20 elevating minimal wages for staff, additional widening the hole between state necessities and the federal minimal wage, which has been static at $7.25 an hour since July 2009. In a number of states, the brand new minimal will greater than double that charge.

In Massachusetts, advocates are pushing a poll query that may part out the state’s “service charge” which lets eating places pay staff $6.75 an hour if suggestions make up the distinction between that and the state’s $15 minimal wage. Beneath the query, the service charge would finish by 2029.

Organizers for the group One Honest Wage mentioned they’ve collected sufficient signatures to clear an preliminary hurdle to gaining a slot on subsequent 12 months’s poll.

“Massachusetts voters are prepared to maneuver away from outdated wage practices and in direction of a system that ensures dignity, justice, and financial safety for all staff,” Saru Jayaraman, president of One Honest Wage, mentioned in a written assertion,

The Massachusetts Restaurant Affiliation opposes the query, saying the highest-paid workers in any restaurant are tipped workers, regularly averaging $20, $30, and generally even $50 per hour.

A restaurant proprietor can make use of greater than two full time waitstaff workers for a similar hourly charge as one minimal wage worker, mentioned Jessica Muradian of Massachusetts Restaurant Affiliation.

“It is a win for the tipped worker as a result of they’re the best compensated worker within the restaurant, it’s a win for the visitor who’s getting a full-service expertise and a win for the restaurant operator who will get to make use of as many individuals as potential,” she mentioned in an announcement.

The U.S. Division of Labor in August has additionally introduced a proposed rule that may let 3.6 million extra staff qualify for additional time.

The proposed regulation would require employers to pay additional time to salaried staff who’re in govt, administrative {and professional} roles however make lower than $1,059 every week, or $55,068 a 12 months for full-time workers. That wage threshold is up from $35,568.