Monday, July 06, 2009

Minimum Wage Rises in Midst of Bad Economy

A new federally-mandated minimum wage will take effect across the nation July 24.
In order to help state workers, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to put this new act into effect July 1, three weeks earlier than the schedule date.

Congress made a two -year plan to increase the minimum wage in 2007. The minimum wage of 2007 is $5.85 an hour, and that of 2008 is $6.55. The minimum wage of 2009 will be 7.25$. The minimum wage for employees who receive tips will remain at $2.13 an hour. "This increase is significant for many Kentucky workers who, like others, have been struggling during these difficult economic times," Kentucky Labor Secretary J.R. Gray commented in a news release.There are two different views about the increase of minimum wages. Proponents take it as a good way for employees to make ends meet while increasing the standard of living, especially to the poor and vulnerable people. . It prevents workers from being exploited. However, opponents say the law reduces profit margins, destroys jobs and creates inflation, since many employers immediately pass the extra personnel cost on to consumers.
The Kentucky Retail Federation doesn’t think it is a good idea to increase the minimum wage at this time. Jan Gould, Senior Vice President for the Federation thinks it is extremely awful as there are layoffs in all industries. Gould said. "We're seeing major national retailers struggling. Increasing the base wage level and other wage levels just exacerbates it." Gould says arguing about the minimum wage hike is a moot point since the law is now two years old and had an automatic increase for 2009 written into it.
No one could have predicted that the economy would have such sharp decline when passed the minimum wage law in 2007. So it is very important to adjust the wage in Gould’s opinion.

No matter your agree it or not, the new act in Kentucky will taken into effect. That’s the final say about this thing.
Kentucky businesses will need to update their state and federal labor law posters and display them in the workplace. Employers with questions about the new minimum wage regulations can consult the Kentucky Labor Cabinet or call at 502-564-3534. If workers suspect their employer is not paying them properly under the federal minimum wage law, they may contact the U.S. Department of Labor Louisville District Office toll-free at 1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

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