As we've discussed before, the idea of raising the minimum wage has and continues to enjoy considerable support across much of the nation. Indeed, one needn't look any further than the fact that 14 states have introduced considerable minimum wage increases over the last two years for proof of this fact.
While the call for a hike in the minimum wage has been relatively quiet here in Georgia, there are signs that this could soon be changing.
To illustrate, consider that just last week, the state Senate's Insurance and Labor Committee gathered to hear testimony from a variety of parties on no less than three proposed bills calling for the Peach State to increase its minimum wage.
These three proposed bills call for the following:
- A bill introduced by Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) last year calling for the minimum wage to increase from $5.15 per hour to $10.10 per hour with increases thereafter to reflect the rate of inflation.
- Two bills introduced by Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) in January with one calling for counties and cities to be provided with the option of raising the minimum wage on a local level, and the other calling for the minimum wage to increase from $5.15 per hour to $15 per hour.
Supporters of the move toward a higher minimum wage argued that such a move was necessary to not only address growing income inequality, but also reduce reliance on public assistance and stimulate the economy by putting more money into workers' wallets.
In a perhaps not unsurprising turn of events, none of the three bills received enough votes to advance, meaning they are effectively tabled. Indeed, the overall attitude in Atlanta appears to remain decidedly against any sort of minimum wage hike.
While it appears as if a minimum wage hike is likely not going to become a reality anytime soon, this doesn't mean that things won't ever change. As such, business owners of all sizes must ensure that they remain apprised of any and all developments in this important area of employment law.
Stay tuned for updates …