For nearly ten years, from September 1, 1997 through July 23, 2007, the federal minimum wage was $5.15 per hour. Three times in the following two years, the minimum wage rose, settling in at $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009. The minimum wage has remained $7.25 since then.
That might change soon.
Both Law360 (here) and Bloomberg Law (here) report that Senate Democrats will introduce legislation today to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Bloomberg Law also reports that the bill also seeks to increase the current $2.13 hourly minimum wage requirements for tipped workers.
The legislation will be called the Raise the Wage Act. And, if it sounds familiar to you, it should.
Bernie Sanders (VT-I) introduced the Raise the Wage Act in May 2017. Here’s what the legislation looked like then. The minimum wage per hour would have risen gradually over seven years from $7.25 to $15. That bill never made it out of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Right now, there are just three states with a minimum wage below $7.25. (Four others have no minimum-wage law.) Meanwhile, the District of Columbia and 29 states have a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage. However, none currently have a minimum wage of $15/hr. New York has enacted legislation to increase minimum wage until the rate reaches $15 minimum wage (and $10 tipped wage).
Separately, there are multiple reports — here’s one from HR Dive — that progress is being made on changing the federal overtime rules to make more salaried employees eligible for overtime. It’s too early to say how this could impact a potential increase in the minimum wage.
So, hold tight now and keep checking this blog for updates.
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