The fight to increase the minimum wage is becoming a central issue in the upcoming presidential elections. In a recent Republican debate, one of the first questions was whether the candidates intend to support a raise in the minimum wage, and predictably all said no. However, this is not the end of the story. The movement to increase the wage has gained steam across the country, with many large cities adopting a higher $15/hour wage. The group Fight for $15 has organized protests and demonstrations throughout the United States, including Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, and Kansas City.
Numerous studies have shown that raising the minimum wage boosts incomes for lower-paid workers without reducing overall employment or job growth. Further, studies show that when the minimum wage is increased, lower-wage earners turn around and spend that money in their communities on necessities such as food and housing, thereby improving local economies.
Currently, Federal Law (the Fair Labor Standards Act – FLSA) requires that all workers earn at least minimum wage. The failure to pay any workers the amount they deserve violates federal law and may entitle them to back pay and damages. Where a state or local law sets a higher wage, a worker is entitled to earn this amount.
Hopefully, we will see raises both at the federal and state levels soon.
Because the FLSA and minimum wage laws are complex, if you believe that you have not been paid the amount you deserve, please contact the experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.