$15 Minimum Wage Proposals are Alive and Well

  • March 4, 2019

$15 Minimum Wage, Pensions Focus of House this Week

Labor Law

One of the biggest success stories from the alt-labor perspective has been elevating the discussion around raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Efforts to do so are seeing various levels of support at the federal, state and municipal level, as illustrated by the two stories from POLITICO I’ve shared below.

The House Education and Labor Committee will vote Wednesday on raising the federal minimum wage to $15, advancing a central piece of Democrats’ economic agenda.

The Raise the Wage Act, H.R. 582 (116), would phase in a $15 hourly minimum over five years and index future increases to inflation. The bill would eliminate lower minimum wages permitted now for tipped workers, workers with disabilities and workers younger than 20.

The bill is expected to pass the House but faces a tough road in the Senate, with Republicans unlikely to accept $15 and Democrats unlikely to compromise ahead of a presidential election in which several senators are running.

The committee also announced a Thursday hearing on the multiemployer pension crisis, continuing the work of a defunct super committee charged with finding a solution.

Appeals court upholds Minneapolis minimum wage ordinance

A Minnesota appeals court today upheld Minneapolis’ $15 minimum wage law, handing a victory to liberal activists.

In siding with the city, the court rejected an argument from Minneapolis-based manufacturer Graco, which argued that the local ordinance conflicts with state law giving businesses authority to pay workers a minimum of $9.86 an hour. The ordinance, approved in 2017, raises the minimum wage for businesses with more than 100 employees to $15 an hour by 2022, and for businesses with fewer than 100 employees by 2024.

“Corporate interests have tried to derail the Fight for $15’s momentum in the Twin Cities by taking Minneapolis to court over its $15 minimum wage law, but today’s decision secures another major win for workers,” Christine Owens, director of the left-leaning National Employment Law Project, said in a statement.