Federal Minimum Wage Bill Still in the Senate

Many of you have read that the Senate did not pass the bill to raise the federal minimum wage, this week. (Tax breaks sidetrack minimum wage bill - Yahoo! News) I've gotten a few questions here at the office about what exactly that means, so I imagine some of you are wondering the same.

The bill is still alive. Yesterday, the Senate voted on a motion to end debates on the House's clean minimum wage bill. The House's minimum wage bill only contained an increase to the federal minimum wage (clean increase) and did not include any tax breaks for small businesses. The Senate voted yesterday on whether to end debates (meaning no amendments could be added to the bill like a tax break) and whether to keep the bill as a clean increase.

Unfortunately, the Senate voted against the motion to end debates. This means that now debates will begin to either add an amendment to the House bill that includes a tax break for small businesses or the Senate may introduce their own minimum wage bill. (You can already read about the first failed amendment here: Senators Kill Minimum Wage Amendment)

The Senate's goal was to pass the minimum wage bill this week but now the issue will be debated; it is going to take a bit longer to pass.

Hot Topic: Federal Minimum Wage Increase Passed in the House

There have been talks of a possible federal minimum wage increase for years now and it looks like it may actually come true. On January 10, 2007, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill to increase the federal minimum wage. The last time the federal minimum wage was increased was in 1997.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, would raise the federal minimum wage by $2.10 from its current $5.15 an hour in three steps over 26 months. It would go to $5.85 an hour 60 days after signed into law by the President, to $6.55 a year later, and to $7.25 a year after that. It is expected that additional minimum wage increases will follow on a state level. There are currently about 15 state minimum wage increase bills pending. If a state raises its minimum wage to a rate higher than the federal minimum wage (as is the case in most states), employers are required to pay the higher rate.

President Bush recently announced he supports a minimum-wage increase if Congress offers tax and regulatory incentives for small businesses. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill by the end of next week. We are closely monitoring the minimum wage developments on a state and federal level, and will post updates here as new information arises.

EEO-1 Report Revised for 2007

The Employer Information Report (EEO-1) changed last year and covered employers should now be using the revised EEO-1 Report format for 2007. Our New Hire EEO-1 Data Sheet complies with the new requirements and was updated to include the new race, ethnicity and job categories for 2007.

Earlier last year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the implementation of the first major changes to the EEO-1 Report. The EEO-1 Report must be filed annually by employers with 100 or more employees, or employers with federal government contracts of $50,000 or more and 50 or more employees.

You can learn more about the EEO-1 reporting requirements on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Web site.

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