December 29, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Phoenix, AZ – Voters in four states approved measures raising their minimum wage Nov. 8, but efforts to prevent them from going into effect are underway in Arizona and Maine.
In Arizona, the state Chamber of Commerce and several local affiliates requested a court order to stop the minimum from rising from $8.05 an hour to $10 on Jan. 1. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley denied it Dec. 21, saying the court “must consider the hardship that will be visited upon employees at the bottom of the income scale by a delay.” The Chamber said it will appeal to the State Supreme Court. In Maine, where the minimum is scheduled to go up to $9 on Jan. 7 and from $3.75 to $5 for tipped workers, Gov. Paul LePage ordered the state Department of Labor Dec. 15 not to enforce the increase for both tipped workers and salaried workers who are exempt from state overtime-pay requirements. He wants the state legislature to repeal the tipped-minimum increase in January. “Governor LePage has now gone beyond ignoring the will of Maine voters and is flat-out encouraging employers to commit wage theft,” said Mainers for Fair Wages campaign manager Amy Halsted. Read more