Minimum wage is a popular topic these days in the realm of labor law, as many counties and cities have been making the move toward a $15 minimum wage. But how did this start? And why $15?
How it Started
The move to a $15 minimum wage started in 2012, when 200,000 New York City fast food workers walked off the job, demanding $15 an hour and union rights. This sparked the conversation, and it has continued ever since.
Now, the movement is active in nearly 300 cities worldwide. Here in the U.S., however, action has raised wages for 22 million workers, 10 million of which are on their way to earning a $15 rate.
First, $15 an hour for a full-time worker – working 40 hours per week – earns about $30,000 annually, which is just shy from the U.S. poverty threshold of $34,000 a year.
Also, there have been discussions about how the average minimum wage worker has changed over time, and the accompanying pay rate should adjust accordingly. Learn more with our infographic, Today’s Minimum Wage Worker.
Jurisdictions Moving Toward a $15 Minimum Wage
Many states and cities have, or are moving to, a $15 rate. A few of them include:
- New York (by 2021)
- California (by 2022)
- Seattle (now)
- New York City and Sunnyvale, CA (by 2018)
- Minneapolis, MN (by 2024)
As the trend continues, we expect to see additional jurisdictions enacting similar laws in the future.
Looking for More Information on Minimum Wage?
Check out our 2017 City and County Minimum Wage Rate Guide for the details on 2017 city and county minimum wage rates.
Also, read more about our new product, GovDocs Minimum Wage, to learn how you can simplify minimum wage rate tracking and management for all your locations.