Statewide minimum wages increased in eight states on January 1 and some restaurants are struggling to deal with the changes. Wages increased in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
The state with the greatest (and perhaps most significant) increase is Washington. Hourly wages hit $9.04 and the state does not allow "tip credits" (meaning servers cannot receive a lower hourly wage even though some of their pay comes from tips). More than 70 percent of the 450 businesses surveyed said they would have to cut shifts and reduce benefits to workers.
“These very modest increases are not job killers,” Paul Sonn, the National Employment Law Project’s legal co-director in New York, said. “They’re not even real increases, these are really cost of living adjustments.”