Tucson Minimum Wage Act FAQ

What does it do? 

This law will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, with the first increase starting April of next year. The bill also includes protections for workers. 

The Increase of the Wage

April 2022Jan 2023Jan 2024Jan 2025Jan 2026

What are the other protections this bill includes?

  • Prevents “misclassifying” workers as independent contractors
  • Prevents employers from “shaving off” time from a shift. 
  • Provides workers with more stable work hours
  • Creates a city office of wage enforcement

Which workers are covered?

  • Workers who do their jobs inside Tucson city limits
  • Full-time, part-time, and temp workers 
  • School employees and other local government workers 
  • Tipped workers will also receive a pay increase from $9.15 to $12 over four years. 

Which workers are not covered? 

  • Uber drivers and similar “app-based” workers.
  • Employees of the state and federal government. 
  • Employees who work in the suburbs or anywhere outside of Tucson. 

Why pass this locally when it might pass federally?

  • Federal bill is still unlikely to pass 
  • Federal bill won’t affect Tucsonans for at least 3 years
  • Federal bill doesn’t fix the problem of “wage theft” 
  • Tucson bill has more worker protections than federal bill.

Who is behind this bill?

The idea originated with a group of local nonprofit executives who wanted to address the root causes of poverty rather than forever providing a band-aid.

How will the $15 wage be enforced? 

Wage theft is when an employer doesn’t pay you what is owed under the law.  Yet if you were to report that “theft” to the police, nothing would happen.  This is why it’s important to create a new local office to enforce this law. 

  • Wage theft is the most prevalent type of property crime.  More money is withheld from paychecks each year than all robberies, burglaries, and car thefts combined.  
  • It is anticipated that the new city office will recover millions of dollars in unpaid wages for low-income Tucsonans. This will actually boost the local economy. 
  • A fully-staffed office will cost less than $500,000 per year and will not increase local taxes.  

Who benefits from the minimum wage increase?

  • Roughly 85,000 Tucsonans will get a raise. 
  • A Tucson worker earning the current minimum wage needs to work 61 hours a week to afford a 2-bedroom home. 
  • When minimum wages increase, companies have less turnover.  This saves small businesses from the cost of training new employees. 
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