Q&A: How do I prepare for minimum wage changes as my people move?

Lora Patterson, HR Advisor at Zenefits
Feb 11, 2021

Minimum wage changed in 21 states on January 1, 2021, ranging from $6.55 to $15. This episode of POPS! explores why you need to keep better track of these and pending changes, as it will impact your hourly and salaried staff coverage.

With many companies embracing remote work long-term, more people are relocating to different states. What’s the best way to prepare for changes to minimum wage as a result?

In this POPS! episode, Zenefits HR advisor Lora Patterson describes best practices for when employees move across state lines, and why it’s crucial to understand what changes to minimum wage mean for both hourly and salaried employees.

POPS Star Bio

Lora Patterson gets small business. In fact, she grew up helping out at her family’s two small businesses: cleaning cars at their auto dealership and working on the farm, which her parents saw as a good source of exercise and stress relief. Today, her role at Zenefits is also about helping small businesses strike a balance between building a foundation for People Operations and ensure regulatory compliance to fielding an array of questions about emerging—and often urgent—issues. When she’s not at work, Lora is a bibliophile with a gorgeous color-coded wall of books to prove it. She’s also an ardent traveler.

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Lora: How should I prepare for potential changes to the minimum wage, especially since my employees have moved in 2020?

Didi: Welcome to POPS! the show that shows you how to shift from human resources, paperwork to people, operations for the new world of work. How by answering one question at a time. Today to help us answer your question. Here’s Laura Patterson, HR advisor at Zenefits. 

Lora: A lot of companies are facing this, especially since so many employees have the ability to work from home. And a lot of employees have taken that opportunity to even move to a different state. So what I would recommend for employers is really go through your work locations and where your employees are located and make sure you understand whether or not the minimum wage has increased for them. If it has, you’re going to want to make sure your hourly employees are meeting those minimum requirements. And then you’ll also want to look at your exempt employees.

So some states, like California, base their salary exempts. Um, threshold off of the state minimum wage. So since California’s state minimum wage goes up, January 1st salary thresholds all have to be raised. So it is a twofold thing. You can’t just look at hourly. You also want to look at your salaried employees and make sure you understand what’s changing for both of them across the board.

Didi: Do you have a question for our experts? Click the link in the show notes, or if you’ve got other ideas and feedback about our show, send them to [email protected]


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