By Bob Katzen

Effective January 1, 2023 the state’s minimum wage rises from $14.25 per hour to $15 per hour. This hike is the final one of five annual increases mandated by a law passed in 2018 that has brough the minimum wage from $11 per hour in 2018 to the current $15 per hour.

In addition, the minimum wage for tipped workers will increase from $6.15 per hour to $6.75 per hour—provided that their tips bring them up to at least $15 per hour. If the total hourly rate for the employee including tips does not equal $15 at the end of a shift, the employer is required to make up the difference.

“I’m pleased to see this scheduled increase to our minimum wage go into effect,” said Rep. Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury), House chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee. “It is welcome news for many workers, though clearly more help is needed to support hardworking families struggling with rising costs.”

“With high inflation, worker shortages and supply chain disruptions, the upcoming minimum wage increase is just the latest challenge for Massachusetts small business owners,” said Christopher Carlozzi, the Massachusetts state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. “With the cost of labor rising, the price tag of products and services will also rise, and those costs will likely be passed to consumers. Main Street and consumers need relief but unfortunately this wage hike will only create more uncertainty.”

“It’s time for a truly universal minimum wage that keeps up with rising costs and supports working families,” said Chrissy Lynch, Chief of Staff of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. “Our coalition of community organizations, faith-based groups and labor unions is looking at how to get us closer to that goal. And we won’t stop until working people across the state have true living wages.”

“While it’s important to help those who are most vulnerable, an increase to the state minimum wage rate actually does the opposite,” said Paul Craney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. “Massachusetts will have the highest minimum wage rate of all the states in New England. This will further incentivize retail chains to continue to automate jobs that otherwise could have gone to minimum wage workers. Once this job is eliminated, it does not come back. The result will be higher costs for the consumer, higher costs for businesses and less available minimum wage jobs for workers who need to enter our workforce.”

“Despite the progress we’ve made, the minimum wage is still insufficient to meet the needs of working families, especially amid rising inflation,” said Beth Kontos, president of the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Teachers. “And some workers are still not covered by the minimum wage, including municipal workers who have devoted their lives to public service and deserve more than poverty wages.”

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