As the passage and implementation of federal regulations benefiting workers has slowed, many states and localities are looking inward to determine what changes can be made at a local level. Two increasingly common efforts include campaigns to raise the minimum wage and efforts to enact equal pay legislation. Minimum wage efforts, such as Atlanta’s Fight for 15, seek to raise the minimum wage from the current $7,25/hour to $15/hour over time. Many cities around the country have successfully raised the minimum wage. Statistics show that raising the minimum wage benefits local economies, as workers tend to spend the extra money they make on essentials – such as food and housing –thus bolstering the local stream of commerce.
Another popular effort is equal pay legislation that bans inquiries into job applicants’ salary history. Advocates believe such measures will help ensure pay equity for women. If enacted, this legislation could prove very beneficial to female applicants. Often, pay inequities follow a woman throughout her career. If she was paid lower at a previous job, this low pay may set an artificially low bar at her next job, perpetuating the vicious cycle of being paid less than her male peers. Several jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, California, New York City and Philadelphia have enacted bans on salary history inquiries. A handful of other states are considering similar measures. Further, Washington D.C.’s city council is considering a bill requiring employers to publish salary ranges for open positions.
As Atlanta employment attorneys, we are committed to fighting for fair wages for all workers. For more information or if you have questions concerning wage and hour laws, please contact the experienced Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.