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Minimum Wage Increase Set for Friday

Updated: 07/30/2014 6:56 AM
Created: 07/29/2014 4:44 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
blesavage@wdio.com

Minnesotans earning minimum wage will start seeing a raise in their pay checks starting Friday when a new state law takes effect and bumps up pay for thousands of workers statewide. 

Governor Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) signed the law last spring that will raise the current $6.15 minimum wage large employers are paying their employees to $8 an hour starting Friday. That requirement will then jump to $9 an hour in August 2015 and then $9.50 an hour in August 2016.  The law defines large businesses as ones where the employers gross more than $500,000 annually.

Small businesses, ones where the employer's annual gross revenues are less than $500,000, are required to make adjustments as well. Those companies must pay their employees $7.75 an hour by 2016. 

Danielle Harling is a book keeper at the Hermantown BP Amoco gas station. She said about a dozen of their employees make minimum wage, and they will be looking for ways to make up those dollars when the increase takes effect. 

"Mainly it's going to have to be where things are going to have to have raised prices because there's no where to go from making up the difference between the wage and the new wage that's going to be coming on Friday," Harling said. 

Isabella Fisher is a clerk at the gas station, and said the pay increases will help her pay for school.

"It'll help a lot because that means I don't have to stress about where I'm going to get this money for my classes and my books and my school supplies," Fisher said.

Harling said it'll be a tough adjustment for all small business owners.

"It's just going to be a hard adjust for small business owners to try to make up the difference in the profit they're going to be losing," Harling said. 

By 2018, these increases will be tied to inflation. Minimum-wage rates apply to all hours worked, whether full- or part-time. 

The training rate, $6.50 an hour, may be paid to employees who are younger than 20 years of age for the first 90 consecutive days of employment. Businesses are allowed to pay employees under 18 $6.50 an hour if they are not covered under federal law. 

Bona fide executives, administrative or professional workers, babysitters and volunteers of non-profit organizations are examples of workers exempt form minimum-wage requirements.

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