For more than five years, workers across the nation have been pushing for a $15 minimum wage. Known by many as the Fight for $15, the nationwide movement advocating for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 per hour, reached a new milestone when the House of Representatives passed a bill referred to as the Raise the Wage Act of 2019.
Under this Act, the current $7.25 federal minimum wage would be incrementally raised each year until it reaches $15 within six years of its effective date. The first incremental increase would make the federal minimum wage $8.40 per hour as of the effective date of the Act. The Act would also erase separate minimum wages for tipped workers and workers under the age of 20, and it would stop the Department of Labor (DOL) from allowing certain employers to pay workers with significant disabilities less than the federal minimum wage.
If the Raise the Wage Act is enacted, the following 26 states would be most immediately impacted (due to no minimum wage rate, or rates lower than $8.40/hour): Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The Raise the Wage Act currently resides in the Senate. If it passes the Senate and is signed into law by the President, then it will be the first increase in the federal minimum wage since 2009.
Additionally, effective January 1, 2020 the following states are set for minimum wage increases: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (eff. 12/31/19), Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington.
MBA will continue to monitor these matters and our HR Consultants are available to address any questions or concerns. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact one of our HR Consultants at 888-622-6460.