ROCKLAND — Rockland issued a news release Friday, Oct. 29 reminding businesses that the minimum wage will increase as of Jan. 1.

Rockland voters overwhelmingly approved creating a municipal minimum wage November, 2020 by a 2,312 to 1,209 vote.

The local law will increase the minimum wage from its current statewide $12.15 an hour level to $13 in Rockland beginning Jan. 1, 2022, $14 in 2023, $15 in 2024 and then annual cost-of-living increases.

The wage would only apply to businesses who employ more than 25 workers in Rockland.

The tip wage, or service employee minimum wage, beginning on Jan. 1, 2022; shall be no greater than half the local minimum wage rate established by the city ordinance. Service employee means any employee engaged in an occupation in which the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $175 a month in tips.

Businesses that violate the city law would be liable for paying back wages as well as incurring fines.

The state’s minimum wage is $12.15 an hour compared to the federal rate of $7.25. The state wage increases to $12.75 on Jan. 1, 2022. Maine voters approved a gradual increase in the state minimum wage to its current level in a 2016 referendum.

A person working a 40-hour a week job earns $25,272 annually at the Maine minimum wage before taxes are deducted. The annual pay would increase to $27,040 under the $13 hourly rate.

The Maine People’s Alliance issued a report in 2016 that said a living wage in Maine for a single person was $15.77 and for a single parent with two children was $29.08.

For further information regarding the Local Minimum Wage Ordinance, please refer to; Local Minimum Wage Ordinance | The City of Rockland, Maine (rocklandmaine.gov).