For Want Of A Line Cook (And Servers And Busboys)

While the federal minimum wage has held at $7.25 an hour since 2009 and remains the standard in 21 states, more than 20 states and a number of municipalities saw minimum wage increases just before or on New Year’s Day.

The District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage of $13.23 an hour (rising to $14 in July). On Jan. 1, Massachusetts and Washington became the first states in the nation to mandate a wage of at least $12 an hour from all employers, and five others (Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine and New York) raised their pay floors to at least $11. 

Those levels were eclipsed by Seattle, where the minimum wage is predicated on company size ($16 for companies employing at least 500 people, $12 in straight wages and $3 in healthcare contributions or tips for everyone else), and New York City ($15 for businesses employing at least 11 people, $13.50 for smaller employers). 

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