Wage Wars

Wage Wars

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/;

www.fool.com; and


Author: FirstWeb

Who Is Cynthia B. Okonkwo? I am a wife and a mom who is a people person by heart. I live in metro-Atlanta and work as a Human Resources professional and have over twenty-four years experience in the field. My experience includes Compensation, Training, Recruiting, Employee Relations, Benefits, and Selection Procedure Development; however, Employee Relations is my passion because I enjoy interacting with others and helping them to solve problems. I became interested in Human Resources while on a work-study assignment during my sophomore year in undergraduate school. I chose management as my major because I was not quite certain what I wanted to do after college and I knew that an off-shoot of Business Administration was a safe, general choice that could help me get into a number of career fields. My work-study assignment was as an assistant to the campus Director of Career Services. There, I learned to make cold calls to area businesses to seek out employment opportunities for students and alumni. I also learned how to format vacancy announcements and resumes. Since writing had always been one of my strengths, I enjoyed my assignment so much that I requested to be reassigned to that department for most of the remainder of my undergraduate career. My Director also provided resources on job interview preparation and she allowed me to type resumes for students who did not have one and charge $1 per page to make a few extra bucks. I got a full-time job immediately after graduation, but it wasn’t in Human Resources; however, I had a Vice President who took me under his wings and allowed me to review employment applications for job openings at the Distribution Center where I worked, so this helped to strengthen my resume. It took me about two and a half years to secure my first full-time job in the field of human resources where I became a trained test developer for the State’s Government Merit System. From there my career has continued to grow. My blog was born out of my desire to write a book that provides practical job search tips and advice, from a spiritual, holistic perspective. After having drafted about three chapters, I got busy with grad school and obtained my MBA; got married and started a family. In 2013, I became SPHR (Sr. Professional in Human Resources) certified. I started seeing other people’s blogs, became interested and thought that blogging might be a great alternative, or spring board to completing my book, so here we are today. My sincere hope is that what I write will help someone. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.