Minimum Wage on Ballot in Nebraska, Nevada and D.C.
Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Senior Legal Editor
October 31, 2022
If passed, Initiative Measure 433 would increase Nebraska's minimum wage from its current rate of $9.00 to:
- $10.50, effective January 1, 2023;
- $12.00, effective January 1, 2024;
- $13.50, effective January 1, 2025; and
- $15.00, effective January 1, 2026.
Starting January 1, 2027, the minimum wage would be adjusted for inflation every year, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the Midwest Region.
Supporters say that Nebraskans who work full time should not have to live in poverty.
Opponents claim that "[t]he minimum wage was never meant to be a 'living wage,' but an 'entry level' wage for young people or first-time workers. ... Most minimum wage jobs are with small businesses or franchisees and those owners cannot afford higher wages."
In Nevada, Ballot Question 2 would, if passed:
- Repeal a provision in the state constitution allowing employers that provide certain health benefits to pay a minimum wage a dollar lower than those that do not;
- Establish a minimum wage of $12.00 per hour for all employers, effective July 1, 2024; and
- Expressly give the state legislature the authority to make future increases.
Question 2 also would repeal the state's unusual method of annually adjusting the minimum wage for inflation, under which changes are based on the cumulative change between 2004 and the previous year, but may not be greater than 3 percent or the cumulative increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour in 2004 to present ($7.25 per hour). Under this method, Nevada has not adjusted its minimum wage since 2009 and, because of the scheduled statutory increases, is unlikely to do so before 2025.
Supporters of Question 2 noted that it will "eliminate the outdated and ineffective method for making cost-of-living adjustments in the minimum wage currently in the Nevada Constitution."
Opponents said Question 2 is not necessary because the state legislature already has the authority to enact statutory increases in the minimum wage (as it did in 2019). Moreover, the minimum wage already is scheduled to increase to $12.00 for employers that do not offer health benefits.
If it is passed, employers would have to pay tipped employees a minimum direct cash wage of:
- $6.00, effective January 1, 2023;
- $8.00, effective July 1, 2023;
- $10.00, effective July 1, 2024;
- $12.00, effective July 1, 2025;
- $14.00, effective July 1, 2026; and
- The minimum wage for non-tipped employees, effective July 1, 2027 (meaning the tip credit is effectively eliminated).
Voters also will have their say on minimum wage ballot initiatives in several other localities, including:
- Portland, Maine - where Question D would increase the minimum wage to $18.00 over the next three years and eliminate the tip credit;
- Tukwila, Washington - where Initiative Measure No. 1 would require certain employers to pay employees the same minimum wage as in neighboring SeaTac; and
- Several localities in California - where various ballot initiatives would establish minimum wages for healthcare and hotel workers.