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Illinois passes “workers’ rights” amendment.

(NerdWallet) – When salary increase on the ballot, voters usually say yes. This was the case in several states with one notable loss in Portland, Maine. Meanwhile, Illinois enshrined the right to collective bargaining in its constitution, and Tennessee will enshrine its own right-to-work law.

Here’s how the 2022 midterm elections played out for workers across the country.

The minimum wage is increasing

Nebraska: Initiative Measure 433

Voting result: accepted.

Details: The minimum wage increase, which will gradually increase from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by January 1, 2026.

Nevada: Question #2

Voting result: Expected.

Details: Raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by July 1, 2024. This increase applies to all workers regardless of whether their employers offer health insurance.

If the measure fails, workers will still get a raise by July 1, 2024. Workers whose employers offer health benefits will see their wages increase from $9.50 an hour to $11 an hour. Workers whose employers do not offer health care benefits will see an increase from $10.50 an hour to $12 an hour.

Portland, Maine: Question D

Voting result: failed.

Details: The Subminimum Wage Repeal, Minimum Wage Increase and Worker Protection Act would raise the minimum wage from $13 an hour to $18 an hour over the next three years.

The proposed $18 an hour minimum would also apply to tipped service workers, nearly tripling their current minimum wage of $6.50 an hour. With the increase, Portland would set the highest minimum wage for tipped workers in the nation. This law also creates the Portland Department of Fair Labor Practices to enforce the promotion.

Starting Jan. 1, 2024, Portland’s minimum wage continues to increase to $15 an hour, but that increase does not include tipped workers.

Washington, DC: Initiative 82

Voting result: accepted.

Details: The initiative will gradually increase the minimum wage for tipped workers each year until July 1, 2027, when it will reach the same minimum as that year’s non-tipped minimum wage. The current minimum wage is $5.35 an hour for tipped workers and $16.10 an hour for non-tipped workers. DC will have the highest minimum wage for tipped workers in the country.

Other ballot measures affecting workers

Illinois: 1st Amendment

Voting result: accepted.

Details: The “workers’ rights” amendment would amend the Illinois constitution to ensure the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively over wages, hours and working conditions. It also prohibits a state from passing right-to-work laws that allow employees to opt out of joining a union or paying union dues, even if the workplace has a union.

Tennessee: Amendment 1

Voting result: accepted.

Details: The right-to-work amendment would add a right-to-work law to the Tennessee constitution. Right-to-work laws allow employees to opt out of union membership or demand union dues at the workplace. These laws are usually endorsed by pro-business groups and opposed to unions. Tennessee has had a right-to-work law since 1947, but this amendment would enshrine it in the constitution, a move eight other states have taken.


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