The Ohio hourly minimum wage will be increasing on January 1, 2019.
For non-tipped employees, hourly earnings will increase to $8.55 per hour, from $8.30. For tipped employees, hourly earnings will increase to $4.30 per hour, from $4.15.
In addition, working longer than 40 hours will be considered overtime and employers will be required to pay one and a half times their normal wage, unless the employer grosses less than $150,000 a year.
In 2006, Ohio passed the Ohio Minimum Wage Increase Amendment commonly referred to as Amendment 2 (II.34a Minimum Wage). The amendment increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85 and stipulated that the:
state minimum wage rate shall be increased effective the first day of the following January by the rate of inflation for the twelve month period prior to that September according to the consumer price index.
From June 2017 to June 2018 the Consumer Price index increased by 2.9 percent. However, there are notable exceptions to the wage increase.
Employers whose gross income is less than $314,000 will still be required to adhere to the federal minimum wage standard.
The minimum wage for employees 16 and younger will also remain at the federal minimum wage level, which is currently $7.25 per hour.
In 2016, Ohio Democrats made a statewide push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Though the Democrats did aggressively advocate for the measure, it was clear that any such bill was unlikely to pass the Republican-majority Congress.
In response, state Democrats shifted their efforts to increasing the minimum wage in Ohio cities instead. In response and at the behest of many city officials and business leaders, Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) passed SB 331. The measure prohibited cities from establishing a minimum wage higher than mandated by the state government.
New York, California, and Massachusetts are the only states that have passed $15 minimum wages, though they will not be fully implemented for several years. Several cities currently have $15 minimum wages with mixed results to their respective economies.
While the Democratic U.S. House majority, entering office in January of next year, has not announced any bills to increase the minimum wage, they have indicated that identifying and prosecuting employers who violate minimum wage laws will be a priority.
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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to [email protected]