A number of states rang in 2009 with an increase in the minimum wage many employees must be paid under the law. Effective January 1, 2009, the minimum wage increased in states such as Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. (See the minimum wage rates in every state, current as of January 1, 2009.) A number of other states whose minimum wage standard is tied to the federal rate are scheduled to see an increase from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour on July 24, 2009.
Federal law requires that most employees receive a wage of at least $6.55 per hour (the current federal minimum wage), while some states have set their own minimum wage rate at a higher level. In many states, certain types of employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements -- including administrative, professional, executive, and outside sales employees, and certain farm and fishing industry workers. (Learn more about the minimum wage laws.)