The Massachusetts legislature recently gave workers a boost, with an increase in the state’s minimum wage. As of January 1, 2015, the wage increased to $9 per hour. The increases will continue over the next two years, reaching $10 per hour as of January 1, 2016 and $11 per hour as of January 1, 2017.
Employees excepted from the requirement include:
- workers in rehabilitation or training with charitable, religious or educational institutions;
- agricultural workers;
- professionals; and
- outside salespersons.
The minimum wage applicable for agricultural workers is $8 per hour. Employers are required to pay this rate unless workers are under the age of 18 years old, or are members of the employer’s immediate family.
Service Rate Increases
Services workers – such as waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and other service employees – also receive an increase under the legislation. These changes may apply to wait staff employees, bartenders and any other serve employee receiving more than $20 per month in tips.
- As of January 1, 2015, the service rate increased to $3.00 per hour
- As of January 1, 2016, the service rate increases to $3.35 per hour
- As of January 1, 2017, the service rate increases to $3.75 per hour
But note that even for servers, these new service rates only apply if average hourly tips, when added to the service rate, equal at least the state minimum wage.