Recently federal lawmakers have introduced measures in congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10 and hour from its current $7.25. As expected, detractors raise the same arguments against increasing worker’s minimum hourly pay. However, not only is raising minimum wage an issue of basic fairness, it has also been shown to benefit the economy and society as well.
Currently the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protects workers and sets forth guidelines ensuring you are paid at least minimum wage. Some states have set this wage higher than the required $7.25. If your employer fails to pay you at least minimum wage, then you may be able to file a wage lawsuit to obtain all the pay you are entitled to. Many times if you haven’t received all the pay you deserve, other workers have not either. A private attorney can begin an investigation, and may be able to file a FLSA suit on your behalf, or a FLSA class action if others have been affected as well. This may put pressure on your employer to change its ways and pay you all that you deserve. If you have questions about the FLSA or minimum wage, it’s a good idea to talk to a Georgia minimum wage attorney right away.
Despite the guarantee of minimum wage, many hard working individuals have found that the current minimum wage is simply not enough money to pay for the necessities of daily life.
A full-time worker earning the minimum wage makes just $15,080 per year, below the poverty line for a family of three. From 1968 to 2010, incomes for the top 1 percent of earners increased by 110 percent, but the inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage has fallen by 31 percent. If the federal minimum wage had kept pace with the rising cost of living over the past 40 years, it would be $10.52 per hour today.
Further, women are disproportionately harmed by a low minimum wage because women-and especially women of color-are much more likely hold low-wage jobs than men. Women also disproportionately earn the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers such as waitresses and bartenders.
In addition to all the negatives of earning only minimum wage, many benefits would come from raising the wage. By putting more money in the hands of workers, they will in turn spend more in a local economy on necessities such as food, clothing and housing. Likewise, statistics show that a higher minimum wage also reduces turnover – something good for businesses.
Hopefully the latest proposal to raise the federal minimum wage will be successful. In the meantime, if you have questions about your wages or believe that you are not receiving the pay you are entitled to, contact the top Atlanta minimum wage lawyers Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.