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  • Minimum Wage Update

  • Michael Keane

    Minimum wage has evolved significantly since it was first established.  The first federal minimum wage was established in 1938 at $0.25 an hour to prevent the unethical employer practices where the wage was disproportionately low compared to the work.

    Today’s federal minimum wage is $7.25 and has increased 22 times since 1938.  The Economic Policy Institute states that today the minimum wage is in place to overcome poverty, promote equality between men and women, and to ensure equal pay for equal work.

    Trends in Minimum wage:

    1. Increase in County and City Minimum Wage Laws

    To date, 32 U.S. cities and six counties have minimum wage laws.  We are seeing an increase for a few reasons.  First, wages are changing to account for living factors specific to the city or county.  Second, local jurisdiction can pass and update laws at a faster pace than at the federal level.  Passing laws at these higher levels takes more time because of the variety of demographics, differences in politics and other factors.

    2. Increase in State Preemption Laws

    Preemption at the state level is also a trend because some states are concerned that multiple minimum wage requirements – federal, state, county, city – create confusion for employers.

    Given these trends, ScribeAmerica has a process of tracking and managing minimum wage rates and their changes.  Some of the ways we manage minimum wage is to:

    • Monitor all the lateset federal, state, county, and city minimum wage rates
    • News alerts and agency websites
    • Determine which rate applies to each location
    • Consult with our legal counsel to ensure compliance

    If you have any questions regarding minimum wage, please reach out to your HRSC.  They will be able to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

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