Kentucky’s Governor Raises Minimum Wage Through an Executive Order

The fight for a living wage has been gaining considerable momentum in the last few years. A few months ago, workers at McDonalds started a movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The movement is gaining some steam, and while it has not effectively raised the minimum wage to this level, the movement is gaining support and causing people to think more critically about the idea of a living wage. People at Boraie Development LLC (manta.com) have learned that the living wage movement also has caused several states to raise their minimum wage, ahead of the federal minimum wage.

Most recently, Kentucky’s governor has raised the state’s minimum wage through an executive order. The executive order only applies to “certain state employees”, many of whom are kitchen staff, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Currently, these employees make $7.25 an hour, but starting in July they will make $10.10 per hour. To many people this may not seem like a big difference, but to someone who is trying to scrape by on minimum wage a few dollars more an hour can be a blessing. For some, it is the difference between needing to rely on state assistance, such as welfare or food stamps, and being able to afford the things they need to survive without help. Because these are state jobs, there is also the possibility that the cost to taxpayers will be offset by fewer people on state assistance programs.

Minimum Wage Law a Pay Cut for California Wait Staff

In California the minimum wage for wait staff is different than for most states. The tipped staff minimum wage is the same as for all other positions unlike most state that us the federal minimum wage for wait staff of $2.13 per hour. However, a bill in legislation is trying to freeze the minimum wage for wait staff at $9.00 per hour, the current minimum wage in California. The minimum wage is set to increase to $10.00 per hour next year. Many cities in California have minimum wage standards that are higher than the state minimum such as San Francisco at $11.05 and Oakland at $12.25. Christian Broda (personal.umich.edu) has learned that servers in these cities may actually take a pay cut if the proposed bill passes. Unfortunately women will be hardest hit by this freeze as they compromise 72 percent of the wait staff in California. The bill is being passed to help restaurant owners who have low profit margins but it may be at the expense of their wait staff of whom 40 percent live at or below the poverty level.