There is a lot of debate on the increase in the minimum wage. Retail and fast food industry workers are continuously pushing for an increase in minimum wage, and many suggest that the price should be raised to at least $15 per hour. Since 2009 the current federal minimum wage is just $7.25/hour. There are other states that don’t agree with the $7.25 per hour wage; they insist the minimum hourly wage should be greater than that. Recently, the state of Florida minimum wage increased. The increase brings minimum wage in the state from $8.25 to $8.46 per hour. Florida’s minimum wage is $1.21 higher than the Federal minimum wage for 2019, which is still at $7.25 per hour.
With that having been said a lot of states have a minimum wage that is higher than the one set by the federal government, yet most Americans want the minimum wage standard to be increased to at least $15 per hour. About 52% of the population favors an increase in the minimum wage.
Here Are Some Facts About Minimum Wage:
* Most minimum wage jobs are done by young people.
* About 2.6 million people including many young people between the ages of 16-24 work at the minimum hourly wage. Most of them work in the fast food industry. 45% of them are between the ages of 16 – 24 and 23.3% of them are between the ages of 25 and 35.
* Increasing the minimum wage doesn’t add much value. According to the Pew Research Center, the minimum federal wage that was raised in 2009 has lost its purchasing values by 9.6% due to inflation.
* Not all states set $7.25 as the minimum wage. Florida minimum wage is $8.46 as of January 2019.
About 29 states have set their minimum wage to be higher than that of the federal standard. In D.C, for instance, it’s about $11 per hour. These states have set their minimum wage based on the living standard in the state. Seattle will increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2021, in San Francisco, it has already been increased to $15 this year and Chicago will increase the minimum wage to $13 by July 2019.
Industry With The Lowest Minimum Wage
Most minimum wage workers work in the restaurant and fast food industry. Restaurants alone employ about 3.7 million workers that are paid the minimum hourly wage, 50% of them are less than thirty years, and 54% of them are women.
Are There Any Exceptions To The Minimum Wage?
According to the federal standards, the minimum hourly rate is $7.25 per hour, there are, however some exceptions to the rule. A contractor also doesn’t have to follow the federal minimum wage; it can be less or more than the minimum amount.
What Do You Do When You’re Paid Less Than The Minimum Hourly Rate?
If you have not been paid the minimum hourly rate you should visit your state agency so that they can advise on how to deal with the situation properly. In most cases, they’ll provide all the necessary assistance on your behalf. Some states don’t have minimum wage supervisors or investigators, these states are Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Mississippi. In these states, the only option you have is to hire a private attorney to sue your employer or lodge complains to the federal WHD.
Even though you’re protected by federal law, it’s not easy to sue your employer. He can always retaliate by proving that there are things you do at work that are not acceptable. He can try to prove bad performance at work and require you to perform unpleasant assignments. So you have to choose a good lawyer carefully. Before trying to sue your employer, make sure that you consult a lawyer so that he can advise on you on how you can defend yourself.