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Q&A: Are cost-of-living raises mandatory?

Question:

Are cost-of-living raises mandatory?

Answer from Kyle, PHR:

Some state minimum wage adjustments are tied to the consumer price index, but otherwise, cost-of-living raises are not required by state or federal law. You just need to make sure you’re paying any applicable state and municipal minimum wages. That said, if the cost of living has increased in your area, you might want to raise wages (if you can afford it) to stay competitive in the market.

The Minimum Wage Map on the HR Support Center is a good place to start if you have questions about the minimum wage or wages where your employees work. The Laws library, also on the Support Center, has more in-depth information about city rates.

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Kyle, PHR

Kyle joined us after six years of freelance writing and editing. He has worked with book publishers, educational institutions, magazines, news and opinion websites, successful business leaders, and non-profit organizations. His book, a memoir about grief and hope, was published by Loyola Press in 2013.

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HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

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