This edition of Employment Flash looks at developments in labor and employment law, including with respect to restrictive covenants; new state anti-harassment laws; minimum wage increases; age bias claims; and the employee classification test and definition of concerted activity. The newsletter also examines how the U.K., France and Germany are working to close the gender pay gap.

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum wage increased in the following 19 states, and in a number of cities, as a result of state legislative action, voter ballot initiatives and/or scheduled cost-of-living increases: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. In California, the minimum wage increased from $10.50 to $11 for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and from $11 to $12 for employers with 26 or more employees. In Massachusetts, the minimum wage increased from $11 to $12. And in New York, the minimum wage increased from $12 to $13.50 for employers in New York City with 10 or fewer employees; from $13 to $15 for employers in New York City with 11 or more employees; from $11 to $12 for employers in Long Island and Westchester County; and from $10.40 to $11.10 for all remaining employers in New York state. Delaware will raise its minimum wage again later in 2019, along with Michigan and Oregon, both of which will do so for the first time in 2019. This upward trend in minimum wage rates is anticipated to continue as state and municipal governments seek to provide workers with a meaningful wage in the face of rising costs of living and a federal minimum wage of $7.25, which has not changed since 2009.