The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to nearly all workers in the United States and provides certain basic protections and guidelines. Among these are the guarantee that workers earn at least minimum wage and that all non-exempt employees earn overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half times their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in any workweek.
However, workers who are exempt are not entitled to earn overtime pay regardless of the number of hours worked. Currently the federal minimum wage is set at $7.25 an hour, however several states and cities around the country have begun raising the minimum wage in response to grassroots campaigns.
Recently, the Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. This follows Seattle voting to raise the minimum wage from $9.32 an hours to $15 by the end of 2017. Further, the City of San Francisco also approved a ballot measure favoring a wage hike to $15. Several other large cities around the country are considering such measures.
In fact, recently hundreds of people participated in a “Fight for $15″ protest in Atlanta demanding that minimum wage be raised to $15/hour. Earlier this year, legislation was introduced in the state House to nearly double Georgia’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
Such increases are a welcome trend. Regardless of politics, most Americans believe that people who work a full week should be able to afford the necessities of life. Too often, minimum wage jobs pay too little for low wage workers to afford decent housing and the ability to feed their families. The Mayor of Los Angeles noted, “we’re not going to wait for Washington to lift Americans out of poverty.”
Currently someone who makes minimum wage and works a 40-hour week, earns nine thousand dollars below the federal poverty level for a family of four, and just below the threshold for a family of two. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is well above the poverty line.
For more information on minimum wage or believe that you have not be paid all the compensation you deserve, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at the Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate and confidential consultation.