A reminder for Massachusetts employers: effective tomorrow, January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is increasing from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour.
The minimum rate for tipped service employees is also increasing, from $3.00 to $3.35 per hour. However, employers may only rely on this lesser minimum rate for service employees if they regularly receive more than $20 in tips per month and their average hourly tips plus the minimum service rate equals or exceeds the $10.00 per hour minimum wage. Otherwise, service employees must be paid the $10.00 per hour minimum wage.
The rate increases stem from legislation passed in June 2014, which phases in increases to the minimum wage over three years, starting on January 1, 2015. On January 1, 2017, the rates will increase again: the minimum wage will go up to $11.00 per hour and the service rate will go up to $3.75 per hour.