Dayton signs minimum wage increase

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill raising the minimum wage in the rotunda of the state Capitol on April 14, 2014. Tom Scheck/MPR News

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill today that will raise the minimum wage paid by Minnesota’s large employers to $9.50 an hour by 2016.

Dayton was surrounded by supporters of the increase, including the bill’s authors Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley and Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis.

The law also begins automatic inflationary increases in the minimum wage starting in 2018, unless the commissioner of the State Department of Labor and Industry decides the economy could not handle an increase.

The law phases in the increase, setting a $9.50 minimum wage for businesses with gross sales over $500,000 in 2016. The first increase comes in August of this year when the hourly wage goes to $8.00. It goes to $9.00 in August 2015.

The last time the state raised the minimum wage was in 2005.

Other aspects of the law include:

• $7.75 minimum wage for businesses under $500,000 in gross sales in 2016. $6.50 in August 2014, $7.25 in August 2015.

• The $7.75 minimum wage rate would also apply for large businesses in the following circumstances: 90 day training wage for 18 and 19 year olds, all 16 and 17 year olds and employees working under a J1 visa.

• Beginning in 2018, all wages would increase each year on January 1st by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator capped at 2.5 percent.

  • shorelines

    Thanks for the help for those of us working for small employers [insert sarcasm]. We receive very little protection under federal law and the state continues to hang us out to dry. As an experienced manager with a degree and 20+ years of experience I will be earning less per hour than an 18 year old with 90 days of experience working for an employer that generates just slightly more revenue than the company I work for says it does. Yes- I should go get another job – I agree. In my situation – the details of which I don’t care to share – that would be extremely difficult. I am defiantly an outlier and laws shouldn’t be created to address my specific situation. Still, the fact remains that all employers – small or large – will almost always pay the absolute bare minimum that they can get away with (legal or not quite). All workers need the law to back them up at least a little.