California’s minimum wage expected to increase to $10

by Cathleen S. Yonahara

On September 12, a bill that would increase California’s minimum wage passed the California Legislature and was sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Governor Brown has expressed support for the bill, stating, “This legislation is overdue and will help families that are struggling in this harsh economy.”

Assembly Bill (AB) 10 would raise the current state minimum wage of $8 per hour to $10. Employers would be required to raise wages to $9 per hour by July 1, 2014, and $10 per hour by January 1, 2016. This would be the first minimum wage increase in California in five years. Some Bay Area cities and counties have already raised their minimum wages this year. San Francisco’s minimum wage is $10.55, and San Jose’s is $10.

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More low-wage worker strikes are set for August 29

August 27, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 2 COMMENTS

Fast-food and other low-wage workers who have staged strikes in a handful of cities around the country in recent months are planning to take their efforts nationwide on August 29.

Strikers and their supporters are calling for $15 an hour as well as more protections for workers interested in unionizing. The latest wave of strikes occurred during the week of July 29 in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Michigan.

The strikes coincide with an effort, championed by President Barack Obama, to raise the minimum wage. In February, Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour in stages by the end of 2015 and to index it to inflation thereafter.

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Fast-food worker strikes, ‘alt-labor’ movement spreading

May 16, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A wave of strikes by fast-food and other low-wage workers continues to spread in major cities around the country as employees take action to increase their pay and gain other workplace rights and benefits. Strikes have taken place in New York City, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee as the movement appears to be gaining strength.

The workers are not unionized and work in jobs traditionally not targeted by labor unions because the fast-food industry often relies on teen workers holding part-time and seasonal jobs. Since the recession, however, more adults with families have turned to jobs in the fast-food industry.

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New Tennessee law prohibits local mandates on pay, benefits

by Kara Shea

On April 11, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill prohibiting local governments from mandating health insurance benefits, leave policies, hourly wage standards, or prevailing wage standards that deviate from existing requirements of state and federal law as a condition of doing business with or within the jurisdiction of the local government.

The new law means that cities and towns in Tennessee may not establish prevailing wages higher than the federal minimum wage and/or state or federal prevailing wages. Any such local laws already on the books (e.g., the living wage ordinances enacted by Memphis and Shelby County a few years ago) are no longer enforceable.

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Minimum wage going up in 10 states

December 10, 2012 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

The 2013 minimum hourly wage is set to go up in 10 states.

  • Arizona. The rate goes from $7.65 to $7.80. The state’s minimum wage is adjusted annually based on a cost-of-living formula.
  • Colorado. The rate is going from $7.64 an hour to $7.78 based on an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Florida. The rate goes from $7.67 to $7.79 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Missouri. The rate goes from $7.25 to $7.35 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Montana. The rate rises from $7.65 to $7.80 based on a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Ohio. The rate goes from $7.70 to $7.85.
  • Oregon. The minimum hourly rate goes from $8.80 to $8.95 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Rhode Island. Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law the state’s first minimum wage hike since 2007, raising the rate from $7.40 to $7.75 per hour.
  • Vermont. The rate goes from $8.46 to $8.60 based on an increase in the Consumer Price Index.
  • Washington. The rate goes from $9.04 to $9.19 because of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Federal law requires employers in states that set their own minimum wage to pay whichever rate is higher.

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