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Your Guide to the Massachusetts Minimum Wage

Alise Bailey, Editor
Square

As a small-business owner in the Bay State, we know you’re eager to stay on top of current Massachusetts minimum wage increases. So we’ve put together this quick guide with all the info you need to know about the Massachusetts minimum wage program.

What is the minimum wage in Massachusetts?

The Massachusetts minimum wage is $12.75 per hour for non-tipped employees, which is much higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

The Massachusetts tipped employee minimum wage is a little different. If you run a business with tipped employees (defined as employees who receive more than $20 a month in tips), you may pay them a minimum wage of $4.95 per hour. However, employees must be informed of this hourly rate and must receive at least the minimum wage when actual tips and wages are combined.

Keep in mind that counties, cities, and towns may have their own minimum wage laws. Be sure to check which local wage laws, such as the minimum wage in Boston, Massachusetts, may apply to you.

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What happened in 2018?

In late June 2018, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill that will progressively raise the state standard minimum wage from $11 an hour to $15 an hour, beginning in 2019. For tipped employees, the minimum wage will increase to $6.75 by 2023.

What will Massachusetts minimum wage be in 2020 and beyond?

Wages for tipped and non-tipped employees will continue to increase until 2023. Here’s what the minimum wage increases will look like in the coming years:

Date Standard Minimum Wage Tipped Minimum Wage
January 1, 2020 $12.75 $4.95
January 1, 2021 $13.50 $5.55
January 1, 2022 $14.25 $6.15
January 1, 2023 $15.00 $6.75

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

With changes to the minimum wage in Massachusetts on the horizon, you should make sure you are prepared. Every business is different, so there isn’t one right way to do this. Here are a few options you may want to consider:

As always, to make sure your business is prepared and stays in compliance (such as making sure you get an EIN), you should discuss these potential changes to the Massachusetts minimum wage laws with your accountant and lawyer.

Alise is an editor at Square, where she writes about how to start, run, and grow a business, highlighting our sellers around the world.