Federal Minimum Wage Increase Helps Working Families
Washington, D.C. - July 27, 2009 - In an attempt to help working families, the Federal Minimum Wage increased from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour on Friday, July 24, 2009. This wage increase is part of legislation passed by Congress in 2007. This is the third time since 1997 that the federal minimum wage has increased.
About 10 million workers - 10.7% of all workers -- will receive a $2000 annual increase as a result of this increase. Many believe that the minimum wage increase is an important step towards helping families through these difficult economic times. "Working families who make the minimum wage have been barely scraping by," said Paula Brantner, executive director of Workplace Fairness. "While workers who make the minimum wage will still struggle financially -- even with this increase -- this will put more money in the pockets of working people and help stimulate our still-sluggish economy."
Employers in the following 30 states will now have to pay their workers $7.25 an hour as a result of the change in the law:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The remaining 20 states already have state minimum wage rates that are the same or higher than this new federal rate, although some workers will see an increase in states where the minimum wage rate is tied to the federal rate. For further information, see Federal Minimum Wage Increase, by Hannah Goitein, at Today's Workplace, the Workplace Fairness blog.
The award-winning Workplace Fairness website, www.workplacefairness.org, has newly updated information at www.workplacefairness.org/minimumwage, as part of the web's most comprehensive resource educating workers about their legal rights in the workplace.
For further information about Workplace Fairness, contact:
Paula Brantner, Executive Director