AZ minimum wage increases to $11 on Jan. 1st

Arizona Minimum wage increase

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Many Arizona workers will soon see a bump in their paychecks.

A third of four annual minimum wage increases goes into effect on January 1st as part of Prop 206, approved by voters back in 2016.

The change will bring the minimum wage to $11 per hour -- up from about $8 before the mandate was passed.

Kimberly Flagg, owner of Epic Cafe, is getting ready for the next increase.

She said the four-year mandate has meant a lot of changes for her 4th Avenue business and others in Southern Arizona.

Some shops have opted to raise prices, but Flagg said she didn’t want to go that route. Instead, she has cut back on staffing.

“We’re kind of in a unique community being on 4th Avenue, and I didn’t want to do that to customers that truly have spent the same amount for their coffee for the past five years and it would have a tremendous impact on them. So, we opted to work a little harder, be a little shorter staffed and it’s been tough but here we go again.”

She said that has meant less hours for her employees and more hours of her having to step in to keep up with the business. She says while her staff has received a raise, it means less hours – leaving some to look for more work elsewhere.

Flagg says she has heard of some businesses in Southern Arizona having to close as a result of the increase. Prop 206 also required Arizona businesses to pay for paid sick leave. The final increase, in 2020, will bring the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

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