As all US employers know, the Us Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) revamp is on hold, thanks to a Federal Judge from Texas. If allowed to move forward, it will force employers to pay many more employees for hours that they work over forty (40) during a standard work week. Its fate remains to be determined, now that our new President is in office.
While that aspect of the US wage wars may be on hold, another aspect…the minimum wage war is pressing on. Ironically or not, the FLSA also determines the Nation’s minimum hourly wage amount. We’ve all seen the news reports or know of hard-working individuals who are barely able to make ends meet on the current wage that they receive. The cries of service and skilled-labor workers became a major issue on the Presidential campaign trail. Well about half (21) of the states have heard their cry and have enacted legislation to provide some increase in their respective state’s living wage, leaving the rest of the Nation in their progressive dust. On a side note, like anything else under the sun, there are exemptions to the minimum wage Laws, which is why many tipped employees, such as food servers, will still not see an increase in wages.
I think we all agree that $15 per hour will make no one rich unless they are fortunate enough to purchase a winning lottery ticket with one of those dollars. It will actually only make an individual barely better able to provide the basic necessities, if that, for their family; however, as you can imagine, there are strong proponents and opponents to an increase in the minimum wage. Proponents argue that those who are directly affected by the outcome of this fight, need this sought-after increase to make basic ends meet. Opponents argue that the far-reaching implications of a minimum wage increase on small businesses will have a net effect of many lost jobs. So it’s one of those “darned if you do; darned if you don’t” scenarios.
It probably comes as no surprise that of the twenty-one states that have decided to blaze the minimum wage trail, California has the most ambitious wage hike plans. That state will enact annual increases of $0.50 per hour this year and next, to be followed by $1 per hour increases each year from 2019 through 2022, which will bring the state’s minimum wage to the magical $15 per hour mark.
What many people may not realize is that there are different manners of determining a state’s minimum wage amount. Some states allow the consumer price index to help determine their respective minimum wage, while others allow the inflation rate to drive them amount of their hourly minimum wage.
Regardless of the manner in which it is determined, California’s minimum wage earners, in addition to those in twenty other US states, will enjoy increases ranging from $ .05 per hour to $1.95 per hour by the end of 2017…resulting in new minimum wages ranging from $8.10 per hour to $11.00 per hour.
For a detailed listing of the twenty-one states that plan to enact minimum wage increases, visit http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2016/12/30/2017-minimum-wage-increases-these-21-states-are-paying-workers-more/95741406/;