U.S. Virgin Islands minimum wage to increase to $10.50 per hour

United States Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth E. Mapp recently signed legislation—Bill No. 31-0236—to gradually increase the minimum wage to reach $10.50 per hour. The minimum wage will first increase to $8.35 per hour on June 21, 2016. The minimum wage is then scheduled to increase on June 1, 2017, to $9.50 per hour, and then on June 1, 2018, to $10.50 per hour. Currently the minimum wage rate in the U.S. Virgin Islands is $7.25 per hour, linked to the federal minimum wage. The minimum wage increases will apply to all employees, including those under the age of 18 and/or still in high school, except for those in tourist services and restaurants who are tipped employees.

For those who are tipped employees in tourist services and in restaurants, the minimum wage is to be not less than 40% of the minimum wage. After 2020, the Virgin Islands Wage Board may adjust the minimum wage for such tipped employees to be no more than 45% of the minimum wage or no less than the federal minimum wage for tipped employees.

In addition, the bill provides that the Wage Board may prescribe a maximum workweek of up to 40 hours before overtime must be paid to service personnel employed in the tourist service and restaurant industries. Currently the law provides for overtime after 48 hours of work. (Act 7856 (Bill No. 31-0236), L. 2016, enacted March 23, 2016.)

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