How the “Raise the Wage” Movement Affects Your Company

After efforts to raise the federal minimum wage came to a screeching halt, many states, counties, and cities took the initiative to increase the minimum wage at the local and state level. This year alone, 38 states introduced minimum wage bills during the 2014 session, and 19 states have officially increased minimum wages. As of January 1, 2015, 26 states and Washington D.C. will have established wages higher than the federal minimum wage, and the momentum appears to be in the favor of other potential state wage changes to occur within the next few years. With efforts to hike the minimum wage at an all time high, it becomes essential to learn more about the minimum wage movement, and to better understand how labor law compliance will be affected.

When the Senate and House failed to create a higher federal minimum wage, President Obama requested that the leaders of each state consider a $10.10 minimum wage for each state. For most states, making the jump from the current state wage to $10.10 would be too much too soon, and thus several states that recently raised wages, like CT, MD, and HI, elected to increase the minimum wage incrementally year-by-year. This more gradual approach means that wages are adjusted annually and are pre-determined. Due to the predictable wage amount, business owners know in advance how much they will need to pay their employees when the wage increases, and if new compliance posters are needed.

Luckily, many of the states that recently increased minimum wages placed the incremental yearly adjustment on their state labor law poster. With this information clearly displayed on the poster, it is easy to understand the wage trend for years to come. On the other hand, there are currently 12 states that have indexed the minimum wage to inflation. This means that the minimum wage for each individual state will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index.   As a result of these annual wage calculations that are performed towards the end of the year, labor posters for such states are guaranteed to update at least once per year. Additionally, these employment posters could potentially update more than once a year depending on the passage of, or amendments to, other labor laws. Though it will often be announced in advance what the new wage calculation is for each state that adjusts annually, the release date of the official minimum wage poster can be extremely unpredictable. Not knowing when the updated poster will become available, or where it will be posted, creates a major challenge for many business owners that will often lead to unnecessary stress and time that is wasted.

Another stress involving how minimum wage laws can change is that there is also a chance that a wage law could be repealed or altered. As seen at the federal level, and during many state and local debates about raising the minimum wage, wage laws can be a contentious issue that leads to many governmental disagreements. In the past, there have even been states, like New Hampshire, that have enacted and then nullified a minimum wage law. Similarly, at the city level, law suits are popping up across the country to challenge recently enacted laws, like the Seattle minimum wage ordinance, and this can create a sense of compliance chaos for those trying to stay on top of mandatory labor posters for various job sites.

Given the growing trend of raising the minimum wage, and then adjusting that wage to inflation, paying close attention to the development, passage, and maintenance of minimum wage laws becomes essential to labor law compliance. The often unpredictable nature of minimum wage posters means that keeping track of wage changes across the country is a nearly impossible task for one person to handle. That being said, working with a poster compliance company can be an essential tool for staying on top of any compliance needs. Poster Compliance Center not only tracks minimum wage laws and locates the official compliance posters as soon as they are posted, but also monitors all of the other mandatory labor laws that aren’t as likely to make the news as a minimum wage update. To further assist with compliance needs, we offer a comprehensive OneSystem that will keep each business up-to-date for an entire year, meaning that there would be zero stress if any notice, including minimum wage, is updated at the state level.   Also, Poster Compliance Center offers every mandatory city poster, and keeps track of any updates that are needed to keep each company current and informed about mandatory local labor laws.

There is no need to be stressed or in the dark about rapidly changing minimum wage laws. Our Poster Compliance Center team will be your labor law compliance ally and allow you to make maintaining labor law posters a stress-free task.

Concerned about how possible changes to minimum wage could affect your labor law compliance? Ask us a question and we will get to the bottom of it!