Monday, January 6, 2014

That "One Size Fits All" Federal Minimum Wage

The current Federal minimum wage is 7.25 per hour. States differ in application of the law. Those without a minimum wage or less than the Federal minimum are required to enforce the federal minimum standards.

So like Obamacare, when it concerns the minimum wage, one size does not fit all. I tried to find out where our Congressman Brad Schneider (D-10th) stands on this issue, and discovered he is "for it" (meaning an increase). No other information or explanation has been forthcoming from him.

Take a look at the January 1, 2014 US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division report, that can be accessed from their website:

State/Province          State Minimum              

Alabama                   $ 0.00 (Federal Wage, no overtime)
Alaska                     $ 7.75 (COLA formulas included annually)
Arizona                   $ 7.90 (Annual COLA)
Arkansas                  $ 6.25 (4 or more employees per employer)
California               $ 8.00 (Time and a half after 40 hours)
Colorado                 $ 8.00 (Overtime 12 hrs/40 hrs, COLA)
Connecticut            $ 8.70 (Overtime for 7 work week/COLA)
Delaware                  $ 7.25 (Federal Wage, no overtime)
D.C.                         $ 8.25 (Always $1.00 above Federal Wage)
Florida                    $ 7.93 (Annual COLA)
Georgia                    $ 5.15 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Guam                       $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40 hours)
Hawaii                     $ 7.25 (Exempts $2,000 earnings/Domestics)
Idaho                        $ 7.25 (overtime after 40 hours)
Illinois                     $ 8.25 (4 or more employees/overtime 40 hrs)
Indiana                     $ 7.25 (2 or more employees/overtime 40 hrs)
Iowa                         $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40 hours)
Kansas                     $ 7.25 (Overtime after 46 hours)
Kentucky                 $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40 hours/7 days)
Louisiana                 $ 0.00 (Federal Wage, no overtime)
Maine                      $ 7.50 (Overtime after 40 hrs)
Maryland                 $ 7.25 (Federal Wage, overtime after 40 hrs)
Massachusetts        $ 8.00 (Minimum 10c higher than Fed, overtime after 40 hrs)
Michigan                 $ 7.40 (2 or more employees/overtime 40 hrs)
Minnesota                $ 6.15 (Overtime after 48 hours)
Mississippi               $ 0.00 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Missouri                  $ 7.50 (COLA start 1/1/08, overtime mostly 40 hrs)
Montana                  $ 7.90 (Overtime after 40 hours)
Nebraska                  $ 7.25 (Federal wage, no OT, 4 or more employees)
Nevada                    $ 8.25 (Overtime after 40 hours/8 hours)
New Hampshire       $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40 hours)
New Jersey              $ 8.25 (Overtime after 40 hours)
New Mexico             $ 7.50 (Overtime after 40 hours)
New York                 $ 8.00 (Eff. 12/31/13: OT after 40, domestics 44)
North Carolina          $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40, 45 seasonal amusements)
North Dakota            $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40)
Ohio                          $ 7.95 (Overtime after 40)
Oklahoma                 $ 7.25 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Oregon                     $ 9.10 (Overtime after 40, after 10 hour days)
Pennsylvania            $ 7.25 (Overtime after 40)
Puerto Rico              $ 7.25 (Overtime after 8, after 40)
Rhode Island          $ 8.00 (overtime after 40, Sundays, Holidays)
South Carolina         $ 0.00 (Federal wage, no overtime)
South Dakota           $ 7.25 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Tennessee                 $ 0.00 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Texas                        $ 7.25 (Law adopts Federal wage rates)
Utah                         $ 7.25 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Vermont                  $ 8.73 (Annual COLA, overtime after 40)
Virginia                    $ 7.25 (Federal wage, no overtime)
Virgin Islands         $ 7.30 (overtime after 8 hours daily, 40 weekly)
Washington            $ 9.32 (Annual COLA, Overtime after 40 hours)
West Virginia           $ 7.25 (Federal wage, overtime after 40)
Wisconsin                $ 7.25 (Federal wage, overtime after 40)
Wyoming                 $ 5.15 (Federal wage, no overtime)

The "Federal wage, no overtime" designation noted above reflects state law, and not federal law as it pertains to overtime.

Democrats are campaigning for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, a "one size fits all fix," but also claim that this figure could be negotiable. The federal minimum wage has not been increased since 2007.

Of interest is of the 54 states/provinces surveyed, 22 currently exceed the federal mandate. I have highlighted those states. Illinois is tied for third highest minimum wage. Another 22 equal the federal mandate, meaning 82% of them either comply with or exceed the federal minimum.

The Democrats in rolling out their demands for an increase in the minimum wage, have neglected to inform us of the above figures and percentages. Will this be a "if you like your minimum wage, you can keep it" moment?

Here is hoping an intelligent discussion occurs in Washington on this topic, instead of "one size fits all." My hopes may be similar to hoping for a Chicago Cubs World Series Championship, or called wishful thinking.

Perhaps if the minimum wage is tied to a sensible COLA formula similar to how some states tackle the problem?" Wouldn't that be smarter than picking arbitrary dollar figures for wages on a sporadic basis? Wouldn't that give businesses that employ minimum wage workers the ability to plan ahead for the future?

Or is that too sensible for Congress?

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