Maryland Second State to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10

Citing efforts to strengthen Maryland’s middle class, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law SB 331, which increases the minimum wage in Maryland to $10.10 in stages by 2018.

  • January 1, 2015: $8.00 per hour
  • July 1, 2015: $8.25 per hour
  • July 1, 2016: $8.75 per hour
  • July 1, 2017: $9.25 per hour
  • July 1, 2018: $10.10 per hour

The move puts Maryland at the top of the nation’s highest paid minimum-wage workers. Connecticut, which recently increased its minimum wage rate, will reach the $10.10 level by 2017.

Democratic Control and the Federal Minimum Wage

Maryland and Connecticut both are led by Democratic Governors and Democratic majorities in their state legislatures, only two states of 13 others have similar Democratic control. The legislation correlates to President Obama’s larger campaign to push the Federal minimum wage to $10.10 before the end of his second term.

Maryland Minimum Wage Increase Affects Postings

Employers in Maryland will need to display the current minimum wage posting in each year the rate changes. The State has issued the 2014 Maryland Minimum Wage and Overtime Law fact sheet, which is available as part of the GovDocs Maryland Posting Package. Each Maryland compliance package (printed poster or PDFs) includes workplace postings required for Maryland employers.


Connecticut Tops States with $10.10 Minimum Wage

Effective January 2017, Connecticut minimum wage workers will receive the highest state minimum wage rate in the U.S.

The Connecticut General Assembly passed legislation raising the State’s current $8.70 per hour minimum wage in each of the next three years to $10.10 in 2017.

  • 2014: $8.70
  • 2015: $9.15
  • 2016: $9.60
  • 2017: $10.10

Governor Daniel Malloy signed the legislation March 27, 2014. Similar state minimum wage rate increases are also being considered in Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii.

In a statement from the White House, President Obama took the opportunity to use Connecticut’s new minimum wage rate to promote his own push for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

I support these efforts, and I commend Governor Malloy for his leadership. But to truly make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American, Congress must act. I hope Members of Congress, governors, state legislators and business leaders across our country will follow Connecticut’s lead to help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the chance to get ahead.


Beauty and the Briefs

The Northern District Court Illinois ruled that an attorney who was told she wasn’t “pretty enough” has grounds for damages in a case of age discrimination and whistleblower retaliation.

The City of Evanston, Illinois, population 75,000, is located just 12 miles north of Chicago, and the City apparently has an abundance of attractive attorneys.

Among several complaints of ageism and sexism leveled against the City, former Assistant City Attorney Elke Tober-Purze revealed that one male supervisor told her that previous female attorneys hired by the City were smart, good-looking (“just gorgeous”), and that these attractive attorneys wore tight sweaters and short skirts.

The supervisor further claimed that Tober-Purze was “not that pretty”.

Pretty or not, Tober-Purze received regular promotions, sufficient performance reviews, and no disciplinary actions, and yet she received a lower salary that her male counterparts. Despite Tober-Purze’s relevant experience and the experience of other females on staff, the City went outside of its existing employees to hire a younger male, W. Grant Farrar, as its City Attorney.

Additionally, the City is alleged to have a penchant for terminating older female employees and replacing them with younger workers.

Things got even uglier when Tober-Purze requested a vacation accrual payment, consistent with the City’s policy. Her supervisor told her she would lose a quarter of her accrued time, and he warned her against making a complaint regarding the lost hours.

Tober-Purze filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL), and shortly after the City received notification of the complaint, Tober-Purze was terminated for “ongoing performance issues” and for her complaint with the IDOL.

Tober-Purze’s case made four claims:

  • Sex discrimination, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
  • Age discrimination, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
  • Violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, for failure to pay vacation and sick time.
  • Violation of the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act for unlawful retaliation.

The court found that, among other items, Tober-Purze had successfully triggered protection under the ADEA by proving she:

  • Was more than forty years old.
  • Performed her job according to employer expectations.
  • Suffered an adverse employment action.
  • Was treated less favorably than similarly situated and younger employees.


Minnesota Minimum-Wage Workers About to Get a Raise?

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States...

Map of minimum wage rates in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Minnesota may see an increase in its minimum wage in the 2013 legislative session. The Minnesota House of Representatives is debating a proposed rate hike to $9.50 whereas the state Senate is considering a more modest rate of $7.50. Democrats control both houses of the state’s legislature making passage of an increase likely, and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton already stated he would sign a minimum wage rate increase into law.

If passed, either increase would be the first increase for Minnesotan minimum wage earners since 2005.

The state’s minimum wage for large employers currently is $6.15 per hour, though many workers automatically receive the higher federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Minnesota is one of only four states nationwide where the minimum wage on the books is lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Arkansas, Georgia, and Wyoming also have state minimum wages that fall below the federal minimum wage rate.

In a 2012 report, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry estimated 6.1 percent of Minnesota’s hourly workers were paid $7.25 an hour or less. The Department’s report also found:

  • Adjusted for inflation, the Minnesota minimum fell from $8.36 in 1974 to $6.15 in 2011.
  • Of all Minnesota hourly workers paid $7.25 or less, 45 percent work in food preparation and serving occupations.
  • Those without a high-school degree made up 31 percent of all hourly workers at or below the minimum wage.


Submitted by Chaunce Stanton

Alabama Employers: Know Your Gun Policy Limits

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently signed a gun bill into law that allows employees to have firearms in their cars at work. The law also protects businesses from being sued for any harm resulting from the use of those weapons on company property. The law takes effect August 1, 2013 and will affect employers with locations in Alabama.

The law allows employers to prohibit its employees from carrying firearms while on company property or while representing a company’s interests in the course of business. The law, however, does not allow employers to restrict transportation or in-vehicle storage of lawfully possessed firearms and ammunition in privately owned vehicles. Any person with a valid concealed-carry permit can transport and store loaded weapons in their vehicles – on or off company parking lots and transportation routes.

Even without a permit, a driver in Alabama is allowed to carry an unloaded weapon, as long as it is not readily accessible. Alabama also recognizes concealed-weapons permits with other states.

Alabama is among nineteen states that have enacted “guns-at-work” or “parking lot” laws that limit employers’ right to restrict firearms on company property.

2013 State and Federal Minimum Wage Rates

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With ten states increasing their minimum wage rates in 2013, it’s a great time to make sure all your locations have the most updated required postings. The ten states increasing their 2013 minimum wage rates are:

By clicking on “order now” you can select the latest GovDocs state-on-one and federal-on-one posters, which contain all required postings for most U.S. employers.

Minimum
Wage Rate
Effective
Date
Updated
Postings
Federal $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Alabama $7.25
(Federal rate)
7/24/2009 Order Now
Alaska $7.75 1/1/2012 Order Now
Arizona $7.80 1/1/2013 Order Now
Arkansas $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
California $8.00 1/1/2008 Order Now
Colorado $7.78 1/1/2013 Order Now
Connecticut $8.25 1/1/2010 Order Now
Delaware $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
District of Columbia $8.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Florida $7.79 1/1/2013 Order Now
Georgia $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Hawaii $7.25 1/1/2007 Order Now
Idaho $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Illinois $8.25 7/1/2010 Order Now
Indiana $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Iowa $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Kansas $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Kentucky $7.25 7/1/2009 Order Now
Louisiana $7.25
(Federal rate)
7/24/2009 Order Now
Maine $7.50 10/1/2009 Order Now
Maryland $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Massachusetts $8.00 1/1/2008 Order Now
Michigan $7.40 7/1/2008 Order Now
Minnesota $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Mississippi $7.25
(Federal rate)
7/24/2009 Order Now
Missouri $7.35 1/1/2013 Order Now
Montana $7.80 1/1/2013 Order Now
Nebraska $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Nevada $8.25 1/1/2010 Order Now
New Hampshire $7.25 9/1/2008 Order Now
New Jersey $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
New Mexico $7.50 1/1/2009 Order Now
New York $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
North Carolina $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
North Dakota $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Ohio $7.85 1/1/2013 Order Now
Oklahoma $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Oregon $8.95 1/1/2013 Order Now
Pennsylvania $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Rhode Island $7.75 1/1/2013 Order Now
South Carolina $7.25
(Federal rate)
7/24/2009 Order Now
South Dakota $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Tennessee $7.25
(Federal rate)
7/24/2009 Order Now
Texas $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Utah $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Vermont $8.60 1/1/2013 Order Now
Virginia $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Washington $9.19 1/1/2013 Order Now
West Virginia $7.25 7/1/2008 Order Now
Wisconsin $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now
Wyoming $7.25 7/24/2009 Order Now