EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

How Many States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

By Kris Janisch
Updated November 2023

How Many States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

In addition to the states with scheduled increases to $15 as hour, other states have indexed rates, which will, however slowly, eventually bring them to the $15 threshold (barring new legislation).

How many states have a $15 minimum wage?

As of Jan. 1, 2023, the answer was only three — Washington ($15.74), California ($15.50), and Massachusetts ($15).

But that won’t be the case for long. (And two of those states have 2024 increases, as well.)

At the outset of 2024, more states are joining this group. Plus, other states will reach the $15 minimum wage in future years through scheduled increases.

It’s also worth noting that several states currently have indexed rates, which will, however slowly, eventually bring them to the $15 threshold, barring new legislation.

The information below — updated November 2023 — applies to standard rates for large employers. HR and compliance teams should also be sure to check their locations for applicable county and city figures, as well as industry-specific rates.

Minimum Wage Management. Simplified.

What States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

That $15 figure is important.

It represents the nationwide push for higher rates, highlighted by the Fight for $15 movement (though it has moved to the Fight for $20), as well as employers unilaterally deciding to make it their own minimum wage rate.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, the states with at least a $15 minimum wage are:

As noted, however, other states are inching toward a $15 minimum wage.

Some, of course, have scheduled increases to reach that number. Others have increases based on the applicable Consumer Price Index (CPI), also known as indexing.

Here they are in the two categories.

Related: Fight for $20 – New Minimum Wage Push

States with Scheduled $15 Minimum Wage Rates

Delaware $15 Minimum Wage

  • Minimum wage in Delaware will hit $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
  • The state passed a bill in July 2021 that provides for gradual increases, with the first taking effect at the start of 2022.
  • Delaware’s 2024 rate is $14.25.

Florida $15 Minimum Wage

  • Following a voter-approved ballot referendum in November 2020, Florida will reach a $15 minimum wage Sept. 30, 2026.
  • Because of the ballot measure, Florida saw its minimum wage increase twice in 2021. Effective Sept. 30, 2023, the standard minimum wage in Florida is $12.

Florida Minimum Wage: 2023 and Beyond

Hawaii’s $15 Minimum Wage

  • Hawaii passed a new minimum wage that will gradually bring its standard rate to $18 in 2028.
  • Hawaii will see gradual increases over the next several years, but it will jump from $14 in 2024 to $16 in 2026.
  • As of Oct. 1, 2022, minimum wage in Hawaii is $12.

Illinois $15 Minimum Wage

  • In Illinois, the state passed a law in 2019 to eventually bring minimum wage to $15 in 2025.
  • The state is on a regular increase schedule, going up $1 each year on Jan. 1. Illinois’ standard minimum wage is $14, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Nebraska $15 Minimum Wage

Following a successful 2022 minimum wage ballot measure, we have a new state moving toward a $15 minimum wage.

In Nebraska, voters approved Initiative Measure 433, which amends the state’s minimum wage law and will gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.

Nebraska will see a fairly aggressive increase schedule on Jan. 1 each year:

  • 2023 – $10.50
  • 2024 – $12
  • 2025 – $13.50
  • 2026 – $15

After that point, Nebraska’s minimum wage will be annually adjusted based on the CPI.

Rhode Island $15 Minimum Wage

  • In May 2021, Rhode Island passed a bill to bring minimum wage to $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2024, minimum wage in Rhode Island is $14.

Virginia $15 minimum wage in 2026

  • Virginia took the unique action in 2020 to delay a planned minimum wage increase due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • Still, the state is on track to reach $15 on Jan. 1, 2026, with indexed rates in the succeeding years.
  • Virginia minimum wage has scheduled increases until 2026, but it will not update Jan. 1, 2024, and remain at $12.

States with Indexed Minimum Wage Rates

For reference, what is an indexed minimum wage rate?

An indexed minimum wage is a type of minimum wage that is automatically adjusted based on changes in certain economic indicators, such as inflation or the cost of living. This means that the minimum wage increases or decreases in line with these indicators, helping to maintain its relative value over time. By indexing the minimum wage, policymakers can reduce the volatility of minimum wage rates and ensure that workers’ wages keep pace with changes in the economy.

Below are states under indexing, along with their standard minimum wage rate (or rate for large employers) as of Jan. 1, 2024.

  • Alaska – In effect; new rate not announced as of early November 2023
  • Arizona – In effect; new rate: $14.35
  • Colorado – In effect; new rate: $14.42 (proposed as of early November 2023)
  • Maine – In effect; new rate: $14.25
  • Minnesota – In effect; new rate: $10.85
  • Missouri – Effective Jan. 1, 2024; new rate: $12.30
  • Montana – In effect; new rate: $10.30
  • Ohio – In effect; new rate: $10.45
  • Oregon – Effective July 1, 2023; separate minimum wage rates depending on county population density
  • South Dakota – In effect; new rate: $11.20
  • Vermont – In effect; new rate: $13.67

Other State Minimum Wage Rates

Meanwhile, some states have minimum wage rates above the federal level but without plans to reach the $15 mark — neither through scheduled increases nor indexing.

Those states are listed below, along with their current rates.

How Many States Are at the Federal Minimum Wage?

Lastly, there are states that still go by the federal minimum wage. They are:

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Conclusion: How Many States Have a $15 Minimum Wage?

Managing minimum wage rates across multiple states is challenging. And that’s not even considering the dozens of cities and counties that have set their own rates in recent years.

And with many states closing in on their final scheduled increases, compliance teams will have to move on to tracking indexed rates.

This blog was originally posted in September 2021. It has been updated with new information.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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