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Minimum Wage: 4 Facts About Massachusetts' Minimum Wage

By    |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 04:34 PM

Massachusetts is on track to have the highest minimum wage in the U.S., but the road has some quirky twists and turns. Here are four facts about getting paid in the Bay State.

1. On the way to the top?
The Massachusetts minimum wage is $9 an hour, as of Jan. 1, 2015. The wages are set to increase to $10 an hour ($3.35 for service employees, with the tip provision) on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $11 an hour ($3.75 for tipped employees) one year later, according to the Department of Labor Standards.

CNN Money said the Bay State is on track to have the highest minimum wage in the nation. President Barack Obama is pushing for a nationwide minimum wage of $10.10.

Urgent: Do You Think the Minimum Wage Should Be Raised?

2. Health care workers are ahead of the curve.
As of June 2015, home health care workers in the Bay State have a starting wage of $13.85 an hour, going to $15 by July 2018. Massachusetts was the first state to do so in what’s promised to be a nationwide campaign to raise home health care wages, according to the Boston Globe, which reported that home health care is projected to grow 40 percent in the next decade, compared with 11 percent for all jobs.

The Globe said many of the Bay State’s home health workers are themselves on public assistance.

3. Service workers need your tips.
“Tip workers” such as service bartenders and waiters get a minimum wage of $3 an hour ($3.75 by 2017) – and, if the employee gets regular tips of at least $20 a month, the employer is required to make up the difference between the “average” hourly tip and the regular state minimum wage.

Paul Sonn, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project, told CNN that makes Massachusetts “a real outlier” among states that have set higher base wages for tip workers. Sonn also says “there’s a lot of room for evasion” for employers around the make-up-the-difference rule.

VOTE NOW: Is Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Doing a Good Job?

4. There's extra green from Blue Laws.
The Massachusetts Blue Laws, originally designed to restrict business activity on Sundays to free them up for worship, may give a helping hand to service workers who ordinarily wouldn’t get premium pay for working on holidays. Though the restrictions on being open Sundays are nowhere near as strict as they originally were, the Blue Laws require some retailers to pay premium pay for Sundays and certain holidays.

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Massachusetts is on track to have the highest minimum wage in the U.S., but the road has some quirky twists and turns. Here are four facts about getting paid in the Bay State.
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2015-34-01
Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 04:34 PM
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