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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage Update: State & Local Highlights

Big news out of California this week: the Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 on Wednesday to adopt a plan that will raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, boosting pay for more than 40 percent of the workforce in the country’s second-largest city. (The ordinance will require another procedural vote next week before being sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supports the measure.) The minimum wage statewide—currently $9 per hour and scheduled to reach $10 in 2016—could also go higher if the Assembly approves a bill passed by the state Senate this week that would raise California's minimum wage to $11 next year and to $13 in 2017. Read more »

A $12 Minimum Wage Would Give More Than One in Four Working Moms a Raise

This post was co-authored with David Cooper at the Economic Policy Institute, and cross-posted on their blog. Read more »

It's Time for a $12 Minimum Wage

Millions of workersmostly womenstruggle to make ends meet on minimum wage earnings. A new bill scheduled to be introduced tomorrow, the Raise the Wage Act, would significantly help these workers by increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour by 2020, then indexing it to keep pace with wages overall. The bill would also eliminate the federal minimum cash wage for tipped workers by gradually raising it until it is equal to the regular minimum wage. 

Here are five fast facts from our new analysis on why establishing one fair—and much higher!—minimum wage is important for women: Read more »

Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage — And So Does Senator Murray

The passage of the program-slashing, millionaire-protecting budget measures in the House and Senate this week might have you convinced that no one in Congress is looking out for women and their families. But all is not lost! A number of our leaders in Washington do in fact care about families who are struggling to make ends meet. Here’s one example: reports have surfaced this week that Senator Murray (D-WA) is looking to introduce a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. She’d also “like to see the separate tipped [minimum cash] wage abolished altogether,” and her proposal would include an indexing measure to ensure that the value of the minimum wage does not erode in the future.

This proposal stands in stark contrast to the Republican budget plans—and it is exactly the kind of measure we need to ensure that women and families across the country begin to experience a real economic recovery. Today, women are two-thirds of the workers making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—a wage that leaves a full-time working mom with two children thousands of dollars below the poverty line. Women are also two-thirds of tipped workers, for whom the federal minimum cash wage has been stuck at just $2.13 per hour for nearly 25 years. Nationwide, the poverty rate for tipped workers is about twice as high as the rate for the workforce as a whole. Read more »

NWLC Supports Home Care Workers in D.C. Circuit Amicus Brief

Last Friday, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) joined the American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Momentum, and a number of other civil rights advocates as amici curiae on a brief  filed with the D.C. Circuit in support of the Department of Labor (DOL) in Home Care Association of America vs. Weil. DOL is appealing the district court’s decision vacating central provisions of new regulations—for which NWLC advocated—extending Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections to nearly two million home care workers. Read more »

Minimum Wage Action Heating Up in February

Walmart made headlines last week when it announced plans to increase the base pay at their stores to $9 an hour ($1.75 above the current federal minimum wage) in April and to $10 by February 2016. While $10 an hour is still not enough for a full-time worker to keep a family of four out of poverty, it will boost paychecks for close to 500,000 full-time and part-time hourly workers at Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. stores—about 40% of their current workers—and represents an important victory for the employee activists of OUR Walmart, who have vowed to continue to fight for a $15 base wage and fairer workplace policies. The move also adds a huge corporation to the list of companies recognizing that better wages can mean better business, and more will likely follow suit; just today, T.J. Maxx announced that it will also raise the minimum pay in its line of stores to $10 an hour by 2016, describing the change as “an important part of our strategies to continue attracting and retaining the best talent in order to deliver a great shopping experience for our customers, remain competitive on wages in our U.S. markets and stay focused on our value mission.” Read more »

Minimum Wage Rates Go Up In 20 States to start 2015, Increasing Wages for More than 3.1 Million Workers

The minimum wage went up in 20 states on January 1st. South Dakota had the largest boost of $1.25 per hour thanks to South Dakota voters, who overwhelmingly approved the wage increase on the state’s ballot in November. Arkansas and Nebraska also saw their minimum wages increase on the 1st as a result of successful ballot initiatives, while workers in Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia got raises due to legislative action. Minimum wages in the other nine states—Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington—increased automatically because they are indexed to inflation, a policy that ensures the minimum wage keeps pace with the rising cost of living. Workers in Alaska, D.C., Delaware and Minnesota are set to get raises later in 2015. Read more »

Walmart Moms Stand for Respect

On Black Friday, Walmart workers across the country will be standing up for $15 an hour, full-time schedules, and respect at work -- workers like Sheena Kennedy.   

Sheena Read more »

October’s Employment Update Shows Importance of Raising the Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage

This month’s BLS data release shows continued strong job growth, with the economy adding 214,000 jobs. Women’s jobs made up 59 percent of these gains (127,000 jobs), but our analysis shows that 49 percent of new jobs overall were added in the low-wage sectors of retail, leisure & hospitality, temporary help services, home health care services, and nursing & residential care facilities. One-third of women’s total net jobs were added in the retail and leisure & hospitality sectors alone. Read more »

Minimum Wage Increases Were Clear Winners at the Polls

Election Day post-mortems generally involve a lot of speculation – pundits will spend days arguing over which issues persuaded voters to choose one candidate over another. But voters issued at least one clear mandate: they overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage.

Voters passed ballot measures in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota to increase their state minimum wages to $9.75 by 2016, $8.50 by 2017, $9 by 2016 and $8.50 in 2015 respectively. Alaska’s measure will adjust the minimum wage annually based on inflation or ensure it is $1 higher [PDF] than the federal minimum wage, whichever amount is greater. South Dakota’s measure also included an annual increase adjusted for the cost of living and increased the minimum cash wage for tipped workers [PDF] from the federal level of just $2.13/hour to half of the state minimum wage. Voters in Illinois affirmatively answered a non-binding question to tell their state legislators to increase the minimum wage to $10 by 2015. If the Illinois legislature acts to raise the wage in their state, yesterday’s election results mean that 680,000 workers will get a raise in those five states. Two-thirds of those workers are women and a quarter of them are raising children.

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