Thousands of minimum-wage workers across the Twin Cities got pay raises Friday that bring them up to $15 an hour.
In Minneapolis, large businesses with more than 100 workers must scale up hourly wages to at least $15. Workers in small businesses with fewer than 100 employees will get a pay bump up to $13.50.
In 2017, Minneapolis became the first city in the Midwest to adopt an ordinance raising the minimum hourly wage in increments to $15. St. Paul followed suit the following year, passing a phased policy that will require all employers to pay $15 an hour by July 2027.
St. Paul's large businesses must increase their minimum wage to $13.50 an hour. Small businesses must pay $12, while businesses with fewer than five employees must raise hourly rates to $10.75.
What if I didn't get the raise?
Both cities have investigative units tasked with making sure employers comply with the minimum wage ordinances.
The Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights enforces complaints and has the authority to issue fines to gain compliance. Workers can report violations online on Minneapolis' website or call 311 for information or services.
In St. Paul, the Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity handles wage issues. Call 651-266-8966, or email LaborStandards@ci.stpaul.mn.us to report violations.
Are there exemptions?
Tips and gratuities do not count toward wage payments in Minneapolis. Under the St. Paul ordinance, tips and employer payments toward medical benefits are not considered wages.
About undocumented workers
In both cities, workers are protected under the minimum wage ordinances regardless of their immigration status. Those filing a violation will not be asked about their immigration status. The actions of employers who report the immigration status of those employees to a government agency would be considered retaliation and a violation of the law.
Does this affect everyone?
Many Minnesota retail and restaurant workers already make more than $15 an hour as labor shortages persist.
The average wage for restaurant and bar workers in Minnesota was $17.18 in April, a 12% increase in the past year, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The average wage for retail workers was $18.84, a 3% increase year over year.
The state agency recently noted that Minnesota had more than twice as many job openings as unemployed people.