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Portland Officials Say Minimum Wage Law Won't Go Into Effect Until 2022

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder says the city’s new wage law and its additional hazard pay provision for workers in times of emergency — such as COVID-19 — won’t go into effect until Jan. 2022.

The new wage was approved by 62 percent of voters in Portland and would see the minimum wage boosted from $12 per hour to $15 per hour, but the emergency hazard pay provision for time-and-a-half was expected to go into effect next month. The city now says that the entire law will go into effect in 2022.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the backers of the initiative, People First Portland, are dismissing the city’s interpretation of the law, and they say that employers who don’t comply with the December hazard pay requirement risk being sued for back wages.

The question was one of several items that appeared before voters in Portland. All were passed except for Question E, which sought to further restrict short term rentals, such as Airbnb. The backers of that initiative are requesting a recount.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the reason given for the recount request is that the vote tally has been revised twice since election night, and with 222 votes difference, the group wants to do its “due diligence.”