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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Bill to Raise Minimum Wage to $15

Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, signed a bill Thursday that will raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 by the year 2023.
Gov. Charlie Baker's Office

Gov. Charlie Baker (R) of Massachusetts signed a bill Thursday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

The new law will set the wage to $11 per hour and then raise the pay rate in steps until it hits $15 in five years. The wage for tipped workers will also increase but at a lower rate, going from $3.75 to $6.75 by 2023, according to Mass Live.

The $15 wage will match California for the highest minimum wage in the nation by 2023:

One concession for business was that time-and-a-half pay on Sundays and holidays will no longer be required by 2023.

In signing the bill, Baker noted the law was a “grand bargain” meant to keep three measures off the ballot in the coming election. The compromise bill, Baker said, was “a far better product for the commonwealth than each of these as standalone entities would be for Massachusetts.”

The legislation Baker signed has several other provisions that will affect the state’s workplace rules.

The bill included a family leave program that will allow workers up to three months of paid leave to take care of a sick immediate family member or a baby. The leave section also allows up to five months paid leave to take care of a worker’s own medical issues.

The paid leave rate will be capped at $850 per week and will be based on a percentage of the employee’s salary.

“This is a landmark victory for working families in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “Finally, workers, especially low wage workers, won’t have to choose between getting a paycheck and having to take time off of work to bond with a newborn baby or take care of an ill family member.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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