Colorado and 17 other states increased the minimum hourly wage for 2018 beyond the federal rate of $7.25. This took effect on January 1.
According to LaborLawCenter, the higher pay in Colorado ranks as the ninth highest nationwide after increasing to $10.20 from $9.30.
Salary Hike Debate
The increase in Colorado’s minimum wages marks progress on its plan to raise salaries to $12 per hour by 2020. However, some critics, including the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), view the increase as a factor for dining establishments to hire fewer employees. CRA Communications Director Carolyn Livingston cited wait staff as an example.
She said that a higher minimum wage would further create a wider gap between front-end employees from “back-of-the-house workers,” since the latter do not receive tips or gratuities.
However, proponents believe that a higher salary helps the economy because it allows people to spend more money. Disputes on salaries can be costly for employers. This is why many prefer judicial arbitration and mediation services to resolve issues before they become more expensive.
The Economic Policy Institute said that the minimum wage hike in 18 states, including Colorado, will apply to 4.5 million workers. Those in Washington, DC, now earn the highest minimum salary in the US at $13.25 per hour. It is followed by the Washington state at $11.50 per hour.
Massachusetts ranked third with $11, while California’s $11 minimum wage applies to workers of non-small businesses. Small-business employers in the Golden State earn $10.50, which is the same salary of workers in Arizona.
The growth trend in these states contrasts the movement of the US minimum wage, which has not risen in more than eight years.
Salary growth remains a sensitive topic among companies and workers since it can be tough to balance the interests of both parties. What is your opinion on the recent salary hike?