Minimum Wage Increase

On June 21, 2012 Governor Chafee signed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.40 to $7.75. The increase will go into effect on January 1, 2013. This is Rhode Island’s first increase of the minimum wage in five years. In contrast, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

Currently, there are approximately 10,000 people being paid the minimum wage in Rhode Island.  New Hampshire currently has the lowest minimum wage in New England at $7.25.

Since Rhode Island last raised the minimum wage, Massachusetts has raised its minimum wage to $8 an hour and Connecticut has similarly its minimum wage to $8.25.

For employees, the raise will help support families and make ends meet.  Employers may be weary of this new provision, but in contrast to neighboring states it is a relatively modest increase.  Moreover, the increase could increase demand for goods and services in the state. Whatever your position, employers and employees should be prepared to comply with this measure on New Year’s Day 2013.