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.

1 comment:

Susan Drenning, President said...

For a business that keeps our customers in compliance with posting requirements, this Federal Minimum Wage change offers a great sales opportunity -- but not without some significant effort and anxiety.

Federal regulatory changes tend to bring competitors out of the woodwork who are looking to make a quick buck. The problem is that too many of these businesses are just selling inexpensive posters -- they are not taking the time or establishing the resources required to successfully keep businesses in compliance.

They also create confusion by using many of the same words we do to describe their products and practices. But I question the substance behind their words since I KNOW how time-consuming and complicated managing posting compliance in this requlatory environment can be.

Consider the behind-the-scenes meaning of two of our most frequently abused marketing terms:

Attorney-Approved: Ashley and two other Compliance Attorneys are full-time GNeil employees who spend every day monitoring regulatory news, requesting clarification from agency experts, creating and reviewing our product content, approving our marketing messages and answering customer questions. Without this constant diligence, the phrase "Attorney-Approved" has no long-term value.

Full compliance: Every posting we issue is an exact reproduction of the agency-issued posting in terms of type size, layout, graphic display and color. This means we often have two or three posters for certain states to accommodate their scope. We never shrink postings to create "one-size-fits-all" to lower production costs. Our Easy-Post product offers a convenient consolidated format without compromising on compliance standards.

So while we continue to monitor progress on the Federal Minimum Wage increase, we also worry about the confusion an event like this may cause for our customers, and welcome your questions and comments.


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