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December 17, 2018

Maine’s minimum wage to go up to $11 an hour on Jan. 1

Maine's minimum wage will go up from $10 an hour to $11 a hour on Jan. 1, as yearly increases approved by voters in 2016 continue.

Maine is among the 22 states and Washington, D.C. that have increased the effective minimum wage since January 2014, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C nonprofit think tank.

The federal minimum wage has not changed since 2009, when it was increased from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour. The think tank has called for wage growth as an "urgent national policy priority" through a multiyear research and public education initiative, Raising America's Pay.

Maine's minimum wage has been at $10 an hour since the start of 2018. In November 2016, voters approved a ballot measure that increased it from $7.50 an hour to $9, along with increases of $1 every year through Jan. 20, 2020, when it will go up to $12 an hour.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2021, minimum wage increases will be tied to inflation.

The voter-approved measure originally required wait staff and other tipped workers to make minimum wage no matter how much they made in tips, but in 2017 was tweaked to only require employers to make up the difference when tips aren't above the minimum wage.

Portland's minimum wage has been at $10.90 an hour since July 1, but may exceed the state minimum wage on July 1, 2019, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

The department requires employers to typically post three sets of minimum wage posters concerning federal, state and municipal regulators, and to ensure that their record keeping meets the highest standards among the three enforcement entities.

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