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Hennepin County approves $20 minimum wage for its employees

The increase will go into effect Sunday.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to raise the hourly minimum wage for county employees from $15 to $20 .

The measure, which passed out of committee last week, is set to take effect Sunday, and will see pay rises going into effect for 480 of the county's estimated 9,000 employees.

“When we move these residents into stable jobs with a living wage, it not only changes their trajectory, it helps us advance our goal of moving residents off government support,” Commissioner Chris LaTondresse said in a statement.

“If every Hennepin County resident made at least $20 per hour we would see a significant reduction in poverty and reliance on costly public assistance programs. So, today's action is also a clarion call for other large employers to follow Hennepin County's example.”

Hennepin County Board Chair Marion Greene introduced the measure last week. Greene pointed to the impact of low minimum wages of women, people of color and people with disabilities.

“The combination of low wages and high rent keeps upward economic mobility for our residents out of reach,” Greene said in a statement after the measure passed out of committee last week.

“An hourly wage increase has the ability to immediately impact the well-being of county employees at the lower end of our pay scales. This is about money in people’s pockets.”

According to the announcement from Hennepin County, the county’s human resources staff used state cost of living data to determine that a $20 minimum wage was necessary to cover the average family size and makeup in Minnesota.

Minimum wage currently varies in Hennepin County.

The minimum wage in Minneapolis for employers with more than 100 employees is $13.25 per hour and $11.75 per hour for employers with fewer than 100 employees.

The state’s hourly minimum wage recently increased from $10 to $10.08 for businesses with more than $500,000 in revenue and from $8.15 to $8.21 for businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue. 

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