Nebraskans to vote on minimum wage hike

by Bonnie Boryca

After an attempt to pass a minimum wage increase in Nebraska came up short in this year’s legislative session, the issue is set to go to voters in the November election.

The Nebraska secretary of state’s office has announced that it has verified enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. The proposal calls for the minimum wage to go from $7.25 per hour to $8 per hour on January 1, 2015, and then hit $9 per hour on January 1, 2016.

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NLRB’s McDonald’s franchise determination called ‘aggressive play’

July 30, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that the McDonald’s corporation is a joint employer with its franchisees is a departure from longtime precedent that’s drawing fire from the fast-food giant and other business interests.

The NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel released a statement on July 29 saying the Oak Brook, Illinois-based corporation could be named as a joint employer in a rash of complaints stemming from employee efforts to unionize and fight for higher wages. The decision is “another aggressive play” by the NLRB, according to Bart N. Sisk, an attorney with Butler Snow LLP in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Comment period on $10.10 minimum wage rules ends July 28

July 09, 2014 - by: HR Hero Alerts 1 COMMENTS

by Rachael E. Luzietti

The comment period for the proposed rule to implement President Barack Obama’s Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for employees working on government contracts ends July 28. Those interested in having their voices heard should submit comments at www.regulations.gov.

In February, Obama issued Executive Order 13658, which mandates a minimum hourly wage of $10.10 to be paid by employers contracting with the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 17 to implement the order.

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Massachusetts set for highest minimum wage in U.S.

by Susan G. Fentin

Massachusetts is set to soon have the highest minimum wage in the country. On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that will raise the state’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $11 an hour by 2017, the highest statewide minimum wage in the country and a full 50 percent higher than the current federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

The new law puts Massachusetts ahead of Vermont, which enacted a law on June 9 raising its minimum wage to $10.50 by 2018. Before the Massachusetts action, Vermont was poised to have the highest minimum wage in the country. Washington state has the highest current minimum wage—$9.32 per hour.

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Vermont approves highest state minimum wage in country

by Sophie Zdatny

On June 9, Governor Peter Shumlin signed House Bill 522 into law, making Vermont the first state to approve a minimum wage above the $10.10 goal set by President Barack Obama.

As of January 1, 2015, Vermont’s minimum wage will rise to $9.15, from its current level at $7.25. The minimum wage will increase to $9.60 effective January 1, 2016, and then to $10.00, effective January 1, 2017. The minimum wage will rise to $10.50 on January 1, 2018, and will continue to increase each subsequent January 1 by five percent or the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index (whichever is smaller).

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DOL issues proposed rule on $10.10 minimum wage for federal contractors

June 13, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced a proposed rule on June 12 that will raise the minimum wage for workers on federal service and construction contracts to $10.10 per hour. The proposed rule implements the executive order President Barack Obama announced on February 12.

The proposed rule provides guidance and sets standards for employers concerning coverage, including coverage of tipped employees and workers with disabilities. It also establishes an enforcement process, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL’s proposed rule includes an economic analysis showing that nearly 200,000 workers will see the increase.

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Wal-Mart workers step up wage strikes

June 04, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart workers were set to protest in more than 20 cities on June 4 as efforts by low-wage workers to increase their pay continue.

Fast-food and retail workers have been staging occasional strikes in cities across the country for over a year in an effort to boost wages and improve working conditions.

The Wal-Mart strikes coincide with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s annual shareholders week. The annual shareholders meeting is set for June 6.

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California minimum wage will hit $9 on July 1

by Michael Futterman and Jaime Touchstone

As fast-food and other low-wage workers protest for pay raises and President Barack Obama pushes for a higher federal minimum wage, California employers need to prepare for a $1 increase in the state’s minimum wage. California’s minimum wage will rise to $9 an hour on July 1 before hitting $10 an hour in 2016.

Certain types of employees such as outside salespersons, apprentices, and learners may be exempt from minimum wage requirements, but in general, the requirements apply regardless of whether employees are paid on an hourly, commission, or salaried basis. Under the California Wage Orders, employees are considered learners during the first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no related experience. Learners may not be paid less than 85 percent of the minimum wage, rounded to the nearest nickel.

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Categories: California / Minimum Wage

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Speak up now: Seattle $15 minimum wage proposal comment period is open

by Amy Kunkel-Patterson

The Seattle employment community is abuzz about the prospect of a $15 minimum wage for all Seattle employees, which would make it the highest minimum wage in the nation.

The idea isn’t new. In the fall of 2013, voters in the city of SeaTac passed a $15 minimum wage initiative, and Kshama Sawant was elected to the Seattle City Council on a $15 minimum wage platform. Upon taking office, Mayor Ed Murray formed the Income Inequality Advisory Committee (IIAC), which represents a diverse range of business, labor, and nonprofit interests, and asked it to propose a set of recommendations for increasing the minimum wage for Seattle’s workers. Murray appointed two cochairs who represent opposite sides of the minimum wage debate—David Rolf, president of a local SEIU healthcare union, and Howard Wright, founder of Seattle Hospitality Group.

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Fast-food strikers plan escalation

May 13, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The call for higher wages and more rights for fast-food workers and others in traditionally low-wage jobs is culminating in a nationwide strike set for May 15, but the effort doesn’t stop there, according to an organization leading the strikes. The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) is trying to bring fast-food workers from around the world into the movement for higher wages and improved working conditions.

“Fast-food workers around the world face the same issues of precarious work, low wages, and fierce opposition to union organization,” the IUF posted on its website. “A handful of giant transnationals dominate the business, so it is only natural that workers and their unions are organizing internationally to change conditions for the millions of fast-food workers around the world.”

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