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Minimum Wage

minimum-wage1.jpgPresident Obama has called for an increase in the minimum wage. The history of the minimum wage goes back to the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt. A federal law establishing a minimum
wage was enacted in 1938 and was one of the most important of the New Deal programs that helped the country out of the Great Depression. Hard to believe by today's standards, but the Congress of the United States approved the first minimum wage of .25 cents an hour only after a vigorous and rancorous debate. One Alabama newspaper predicted "chaos" and the "destruction" of the Southern textile economy if, in fact, employers were forced to raise the pay to a minimum of .25 cents per hour. As the President hoped, however, the minimum wage had a salutary impact on the American economy and raised the income level of about 750,000 workers while causing minimal job losses. Since that time, the minimum wage has been repeatedly raised and is now considered one of the
Government's fundamental economic guarantees to all working men and women.

At the time the Federal Minimum Wage Law passed, wages in the United States varied widely by region and industry. In the South, the textile mills were notorious for their low hourly pay, while other parts of the country, such as California, workers already made more than the minimum wage of .25 cents per hour. President Roosevelt proposed the Minimum Wage Law partly as a matter of economic fairness, but also as a way to give consumers more money to put back in the economy.

The Federal Minimum Wage Law contained the Fair Labor Standards Act which also introduced many other worker protections, including a ban on child labor and a requirement that employers pay time and a half wages for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. The minimum wage reached $1.00 in 1956 and $5.85 in 2007. In 2009 the minimum wage reached $7.25. As of January 1, 2015, 29 states had a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. On March 26, 2014, Connecticut passed legislation to raise the minimum wage from $8.70 to $10.10 by 2017, the first State to address President Obama's call for an increase in the minimum wage. On June 2, 2014, the City Council of Seattle, Washington passed a local ordinance to increase the minimum wage of the City to $15.00 an hour, giving the City the highest minimum wage in the United States, which will be phased in over seven years and be fully implemented by 2021. 

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Davis & Davis Attorneys at Law

Davis & Davis Attorneys At Law