New Jersey could become the fifth state this year to increase its state minimum wage if voters approve a measure on Nov. 5 that would boost the hourly rate by $1, to $8.25.
In states as varied as Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts and South Dakota, advocates are pushing to put minimum wage hikes on state ballots in 2014. Meanwhile, elected officials are leading the charge in Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia.
The action at the state level comes as organized labor and liberal groups have backed a wave of strikes by fast-food workers in cities across the country to put a spotlight on hourly wages. Advocates are pressing for a national $15 hourly wage, more than twice the $7.25 federal minimum wage.
States cannot set a minimum wage that is lower than the federal standard, but they are free to establish a higher one. Washington state currently has the highest state minimum wage at $9.19; followed by Oregon ($8.95) and Vermont ($8.60). Connecticut, the District of Columbia and Illinois all have a state minimum of $8.25. In addition, some 120 cities have enacted “living wages” that set a minimum standard for businesses that receive city contracts. City minimums range from $9 to $16 an hour.
- California minimum wage bill close to final passage (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Minimum wage in California to be $10 an hour (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Fast food workers strike to double current wages (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Tips and Poverty (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Labor, Then and Now (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)
- Walmart CEO Mike Duke Pushes Back Against Company's Minimum Wage Reputation (workers-compensation.blogspot.com)