Voters usually vote yes when wage increases are on their ballots. This was true in several states, with one notable exception in Maine. Illinois has now enshrined collective bargaining rights in its constitution. Tennessee will also adopt right-to-work laws.

This is how the 2022 midterm elections played out for workers in the United States.

Minimum wage increases

Nebraska Initiative Measure 433

Ballot result passed.

Details: An incremental increase in minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by January 1, 2026.

Nevada: Question No. 2

Ballot result: Pending.

Details: The minimum wage will rise to $12 an hour by July 1, 2024. This applies to all workers, regardless of whether or not their employer offers health insurance.

Workers will still receive an increase if the measure is defeated. Wages for workers whose employers offer healthcare benefits will rise from $9.50 an hour to $11 an hour. Wages for workers whose employers do not offer health benefits will increase from $10.50 an hour to $12 an hour.

Portland, Maine – Question D

Ballot result failed.

Details : The Act to Eliminate Sub-Minimum Wage and Increase Minimum Wages, Strengthen Workers Protections and Strengthen Workers Protections would have raised the minimum wage from $13 an hour to $18 over the next three year.

Tipped workers would also have seen the proposed $18-an hour minimum. This would nearly triple their current minimum wage, $6.50 an hour. Portland would have been the first state to enact the highest minimum wage for tipped employees in the country with that increase. To enforce the increase, the act created a Portland Department of Fair Labor Practices.

Portland’s minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour starting Jan. 1, 2024. However, this increase does not include tipped workers

Washington, D.C. : Initiative 82

Ballot result passed.

Details: This initiative will increase the minimum wage for tipped employees each year up to July 1, 2027. At that point, it will be equal to the non-tipped minimum wages for the year. Current minimum wage for tipped workers is $5.35 an hour and for non-tipped employees it’s $16.10. D.C. will have the highest minimum wage in the country for tipped workers.

Other ballot initiatives that affect workers

Illinois: Amendment 1

Ballot result passed.

Details: The “workers rights” amendment to the Illinois state constitution will allow workers to organize and bargain collectively in order to negotiate wages, working hours, and conditions. It also prohibits the state’s right-to-work laws. These allow workers to choose not to join a union or pay union dues, even if their workplace is unionized.

Tennessee: Amendment 1

Ballot result passed.

Details: The Right-to-Work Amendment to Tennessee’s state constitution will include the right-to-work clause. Employees can opt out of being required to pay dues to their union or to join a union at work through right-to-work laws. These laws are often praised by pro-business organizations and opposed by labor unions. Although Tennessee has had a right to work law since 1947, this amendment will make it a part of the constitution. This is a move that eight other states have done.