Some Workers Have Reason for Early Fireworks This Fourth

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By Jacquie Lee

For a lot of Americans, July 4 is the date to watch out for. It means cookouts, family visits, and, most importantly, time off from work. But for others, July 1 is the date to keep an eye on. It marks the end of the fiscal year, and for some states that means wage hikes and paid sick leave requirements.

So as you load up on beer and hot dogs this weekend in preparation for the Fourth, remember that employment laws will not look the same when you sit down at your desk Monday morning.

Drum roll please...

Minimum wages will increase in the following places, effective July 1:

  • Oregon’s standard state minimum hourly wage will rise to $10.25. Portland metro area employees will see their minimum wage rise to $11.25. Workers in “non-urban counties"—less populated areas that mostly lie on the east side of the state—will make $10 an hour.
  • In Atlanta, city workers are on course to make $15 an hour two years from now. The first stage of that plan starts this weekend, as 360 workers get their pay bumped up to $13 an hour.
  • Maryland will hike its wages to $9.25 an hour. However, Montgomery County will increase its wage floor to $11.50.
  • Across the state of California, cities are raising wages. In Los Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena, San Jose, San Leandro, and Santa Monica, workers will get paid at least $12 an hour if a business has 26 or more employees and $10.50 if the business employs 25 or fewer people. Milpitas’ minimum wage goes up to $11 an hour, and in San Francisco it will be $14 an hour.
  • Washington, D.C. workers are getting a $1 pay bump as the minimum goes up to $12.50.

Paid Sick Leave

As for paid sick leave, here’s who’s requiring it starting July 1:

  • In Arizona, employees will gain one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work, thanks to the Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act.
  • In Los Angeles, businesses with 25 or fewer employees will have to offer their workers paid sick leave. Larger businesses—those with 26 or more employees—were required to start offering paid sick leave a year ago.
  • Chicago employers will have to offer paid sick leave to employees if they work at least 80 hours within a 120-day period. Employees can stock up an hour of leave for every 40 hours they work.
  • Minneapolis employers with six or more employees will be required to offer paid sick leave amounting to at least one hour for every 30 hours worked. That accrued leave is capped at 48 hours a year. If a business has five or fewer employees, it will have to offer time off for illness, but it won’t have to be paid.

The Future of Work Scheduling

Going forward, laws requiring employers to give workers notice of their schedules to give them ample time to prepare will be more common. Already, Seattle passed an ordinance effective July 1 that will require large food and retail companies—that means 500 employees or more—to give workers at least a week’s notice of their schedule.

That requirement is likely to spread to Oregon next year, thanks to a bill the state legislature passed June 29. Gov. Kate Brown (D) told Bloomberg BNA June 28 that she intends to sign the measure, which would take effect July 1, 2018.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) signed similar legislation in May. It requires employers to give workers two weeks notice of their schedule and bans on-call scheduling. That law goes into effect this November.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacquie Lee at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at; Terence Hyland at; Chris Opfer at

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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