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The federal minimum wage is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which set down laws protecting the rights of workers to be paid for their efforts. The FLSA also defines overtime pay, child labor, and requires employer to keep records of employee time worked and pay received.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and has been since July 24, 2009. When the FLSA first went into effect in 1938, the minimum wage was 25 cents per hour. As you can see, it's gone up all of $7 in 75 years. In other words, the federal minimum wage has risen an average of less than one dime per year for 75 years. How much do workers appreciate a raise of one dime per year?
State Minimum Wages
Some states show their appreciation for minimum wage workers by allowing them their extra dime every year. As of January, 2014, 21 states and D.C. have enacted minimum wages that are higher than the federal $7.25. Oregon and Washington top the charts with minimum wages of $9.10 and $9.32, respectively. California's is set to rise to $9 this summer.
PayScale's survey brought in enough data to determine the opinions of people in 47 of the 50 states. Montana and Missouri had the lowest desire to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, with only 28 percent of respondents saying they approve. The state of New York was the most in favor, with 67 percent of respondents saying they approve. In Massachusetts, 64 percent approved, and in California, 57 percent approved.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you think we need to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and why or why not? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.