Aug 1, 2014 at 7:12 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minimum-wage earners in Minnesota get a pay raise to $8 an hour.
For Minnesota's lowest-paid workers, the most welcome move the Legislature made this year was increasing the minimum wage for the first time in nearly a decade.
The hourly wage moves from $6.15 to $8, the first in a series of steps that will eventually set it at $9.50 an hour for big companies, including those with gross annual sales topping a half-million dollars. Smaller companies phase up to $7.25 an hour next year, which is currently the federal minimum wage, then $7.75 by August 2016.
Dan McElroy is the president of Minnesota Hospitality--which represents the state's restaurant industry. He says waiters and waitresses will be affected most by the higher minimum, because tips are not considered income in Minnesota.
He says a survey they conducted with restaurant owners indicates 93-percent of respondents indicated they would raise prices when the minimum goes to $9.50 an hour, 60 percent will reduce their hours, and 50-percent will hire fewer people.
And starting in 2018, the minimum wage is indexed to inflation, which likely means automatic raises.
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