What You Need to Know About Delaware’s Minimum Wage

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance, we recommend that you discuss these upcoming changes to minimum wage laws in Delaware with your accountant and lawyer. This article does not constitute legal advice.

Minimum wage increases are gaining in popularity across the country. But with so many changing laws on the federal, state, and local levels, what’s actually happening where you live and work can get confusing.

We’ve got you covered on what’s happening next with the Delaware minimum wage and what you need to do as a small business owner to be prepared.

What is the minimum wage in Delaware?

The Delaware minimum wage is $9.75, $2.50 higher than the federal minimum wage. However, for the first 90 days on a new job, adults over the age of 18 years old may be paid $8.75 as a training wage. Workers between the ages of 14 and 17 have a minimum wage of $8.75. For employees who receive tips in Delaware, minimum wage is $2.23.

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Will Delaware’s minimum wage change in 2021?

There are no formal plans to raise the minimum wage in Delaware after the October 2021 increase.

However, a proposal to increase Delaware’s minimum wage to $15 by 2026 has been circulated by Delaware Democrats. The Delaware Senate Labor Committee previously released a bill for consideration that would have changed the Delaware minimum wage to $11 in 2020 with $1 per year increases to reach a $15 Delaware minimum wage in 2024.

How should small business owners prepare for changes to the minimum wage?

While a change to the state minimum wage isn’t scheduled beyond 2021, with new bills under consideration, it’s smart to plan for when the time comes. We recommend taking the following steps to ensure you’re prepared:

  • Reevaluate your staffing plan: Review your monthly sales and overhead costs to see if your current staffing levels are efficient. Depending on the size and type of business you own, it may make sense to reduce full-time staff throughout the year and hire contract employees during your busy seasons.
  • Hire the right people: The hiring process is time-consuming and expensive. If your business is new, the first step is to get your free EIN. Next, make sure you follow best hiring practices, because finding the right fit the first time around saves you money in the long run. Once you have your team in place, focus on retaining valuable employees by creating plans for employee growth to keep them engaged.
  • Upgrade your technology: Save time and money by streamlining tedious tasks. Small business payroll is much less of a hassle when you know how to easily avoid common payroll mistakes. Square makes it easy to learn how to do payroll yourself and simplify the process. This frees up time to focus on issues like staffing and growing your business.

While these are helpful guidelines to follow, you should discuss Delaware minimum wage laws with your accountant and lawyer to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance.