Lastly, voters in Portland, Maine, passed a minimum wage increase in November 2020 that included hazard pay for minimum wage earners during a public emergency. However, there have been legal challenges to the wording of the law and whether that includes the current pandemic. Holle advised employers to check with legal counsel regarding minimum wage in Portland.
2021 Trends and Federal Minimum Wage
Holle also examined what the future of minimum wage could look like.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on the hospitality and restaurant industries — bad news for tipped employees. Lawmakers in five states have proposed eliminating tipped wages, though so far the legislation hasn’t gained much traction, Holle said.
Still, there will likely be a “wide-ranging” reaction to the economic conditions of minimum wage workers, she said. Some states, New Jersey, for example, have added additional protections. In neighboring New York State, the tip credit for workers in the Miscellaneous Industry category will be eliminated by the end of 2020.
The status of gig workers will also be something to watch, Holle said. She cited Seattle, the first city to set premium pay for gig workers during the pandemic. The city has distinct fees for food delivery drivers: $2.50 for one pickup or drop-off point in Seattle, and $1.25 for each additional pickup or drop-off.
Hazard pay could also become more of a focus due to the pandemic, Holle said. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does not require employers to offer hazard pay, but more than 10 states have introduced such legislation, while some have a law on the books.
GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large, multi-jurisdiction employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage a postings, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.
Have fewer than 30 locations?
The GovDocs Poster Store simplifies posting compliance for employers with less than 30 locations across all industries, offering a variety of posting products to meet your labor law compliance needs.