Minimum Wage Laws Help Local Economies

Two significant studies issued this week conclude benefits exist from paying Americans more. First, a New York study found that “living wage” requirements on businesses that receive government subsidies do not negatively impact job and business creation, debunking notions that “living wage” laws hurt competition and local economies. The study looked at 15 states across the country that had living wage laws tied to subsidies. Research concluded that the cities that had “living wages” tied to subsidies had the same level of business growth as those cities without such laws. Further, the results revealed that these laws do not harm low-wage workers.

Similarly, a new study published in the November issue of the journal The Review of Economics and Statistics concluded that increasing the minimum wage does not lead to the short- or long-term loss of low-paying jobs. As noted by a Harvard University professor, “this is one of the best and most convincing minimum wage papers in recent years.” The study’s authors noted that an entire generation of previous minimum wage studies that found negative effects of jobs were fundamentally flawed.

Increasing the minimum wage has significant benefits such as stimulating the economy by putting more money in the pockets of those most likely to spend it on necessities.

The federal minimum wage was first adopted as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938, and is currently $7.25, although 32 states have minimum wages higher than the federal level. Despite having a low minimum wage, many employers still try to avoid paying workers the full amount they are entitled to, often by not fully compensating employees for each hour worked, by miscategorizing a worker’s employment status, or by other FLSA violations.

If you have been denied minimum wage, contact Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP, dedicated to protecting employee’s rights in the workplace.