Minimum wage climbs in Ohio, but not by much

10/11/2013
BY CHIP TOWNS
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Most of Ohio’s minimum-wage workers will get a raise on Jan. 1, but it won’t be a big one.

The minimum wage for nontipped employees will rise from $7.85 an hour to $7.95 an hour.

Tipped employees will see their base pay rise from $3.93 an hour to $3.98 an hour.

Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2006 that says Ohio’s minimum wage will rise each year by the rate of inflation. The Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers rose 1.5 percent from Sept. 1, 2012, to Aug. 31, 2013.

For a nontipped employee who works 40 hours a week, the raise means pay of $318 a week instead of $314 a week. The rate translates to $16,536 a year for somebody who works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks. That’s $208 a year more than this year.

Tipped employees are those who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips. Employers must be able to prove that tipped employees receive at least the minimum wage when wages and tips are combined.

Not all employees can expect the increase. The minimum wage for employees at smaller companies — those with annual gross receipts of $288,000 or less in 2013 — and for 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds is $7.25 per hour, which is the federal minimum wage.

In Michigan, the minimum wage is $7.40 an hour. It has not changed since 2008. Tipped employees in Michigan can be paid $2.65 an hour if their wages and tips combined equal at least $7.40 an hour.

A wage increase can have a domino effect, as employees making slightly more than the minimum get small raises to keep them above the base rate.

Contact Chip Towns at: ctowns@theblade.com or 419-724-6194.