On Friday, July 24, the last stage of the "phased-in" minimum wage will go into effect, bringing the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, signed into law by President George W. Bush, provided for a three-stage increase in the minimum wage, to $5.85 an hour in 2007, and to $6.55 an hour in 2008, ending with next Friday's increase to $7.25 an hour.
In a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, Secretary Hilda L. Solis said that the increase would affect workers in 30 states, which currently have an applicable minimum below $7.25, and the District of Columbia, which provides that wages must be $1 per hour more than the federal minimum. For families with a full-time minimum wage earner, Solis said, the increase would mean $120 extra per month, which, among other things, would allow the working poor to replace their regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, "which would save the family money in the long term and be an important step toward a greener country."
Secretary Solis also said, "This well-deserved increase will help workers better provide for their families in the face of today's economic challenges. I am especially pleased that the change will benefit working women, who make up two-thirds of minimum wage earners."
If you have any questions about the new minimum wage or how it affects your employees, please contact a member of Constangy's Wage Hour Practice Group, or the Constangy attorney of your choice.
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