US Virgin Islands joins caravan for minimum wage increase
Apr 21, 2016 05:20 AM EDT
The growing list of US states, territories, and municipalities that have adjusted their minimum wage above the federal minimum wage has been joined by the US Virgin Island. Its minimum wage of $7.25 has now been increased to $8.35 per hour
According to ABC News, Catherine Hendry, the Labor Commissioner, said the increase would be effective starting June 21. Another scheduled increase of $9.50 is expected in June 2017 and another $10.50 will be slated for June 2018.
As reported by BVI News, Governor Kenneth Mapp said he sincerely commends the sponsors of the legislation. He added that the new bill is good for its territory and is consistent with his administration's efforts in increasing the pay of public employees.
Tourist and restaurant employees who are considered tipped workers must not be paid less than 40 percent of the new minimum wage, according to the new law. Tipped employees will receive a minimum cash wage of $3.34 from $2.13. The Wage Board may adjust the minimum wage of tourist and restaurant employees to not more than 45 percent of the territory's minimum wage after the year 2020 as per JD Supra.
Based on the previous law, the Wage Board has been authorized to impose a maximum workweek of 48 hours before imposing overtime rates to employees. However, with the new wage law, the tourist and restaurant industry will now impose overtime rates after 40 hours of work. This change will now be synchronized to the existing law of the US Virgin Islands requiring employees to be given overtime pay right after the 40-hour duty mark.
The new law also states that employees of business that have a gross income of $150,000 per year and employees who are under 18 years old will no longer be exempted from the territory's minimum wage law. The new law will also make employers look into their existing wage schedules and adjust the minimum wage for their employees in order to prepare as many businesses will experience a decrease in revenue due to the seasonal variations right before the law will take effect on June.