LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) – Employers and workers in the District are preparing for an increase to the minimum wage, which raises to $9.50 per hour on July 1.

The current minimum wage in the nation’s capital is $8.25. The minimum wage will increase regardless of the size of an employer.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed the Minimum Wage Amendment Act into law on January 15 after unanimous passage by the D.C. Council.

Under the new law, the minimum wage will increase by $1 per hour each year through 2016, when it will cap at $11.50.

The law combines elements of several proposals to raise the city’s minimum wage following a high-profile debate over legislation that would have required Wal-Mart and other large retailers to pay their employees at least $12.50 per hour. Mayor Gray vetoed that bill.

“I am proud of the role we played in bringing this minimum wage increase about, because it will enable all District workers to earn a decent living as well as boost average family incomes,” Mayor Gray said in a statement Tuesday. “I am also confident that this measure will help stimulate economic growth in our city, as more money in families’ pockets will allow our residents to spend more money on goods and services.”

The bill will not raise the minimum wage, which is $2.77 per hour, for restaurant workers who rely on tips. However, if an employee’s hourly tip earnings along with the base minimum wage do not add up to the District’s full minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.

The Department of Employment Services will mail new D.C. minimum wage posters to all District employers over the next few weeks, according to the Mayor’s Office. Employers subject to the act will be required to display the poster, informing employees of the change.

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