President Signs War Spending Bill - Increases Federal Minimum Wage

On Friday, President Bush signed the Iraq war spending bill that included language that will increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade.

Title VIII - Fair Minimum Wage and Tax Relief, from the new law, will increase the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 in three stages over two years. The increases will be done in three phases of 70 cents more an hour. The first increase will bring the minimum wage up to $5.85 an hour, 60 days after signing. The other increases will follow a year apart and will be completed by the summer of 2009.

On Friday, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement in response to the President signing the minimum wage increase into law.

"While I know that many Americans are deeply troubled about the bill the President has signed today, there is one thing in this legislation that we can all celebrate – a long-overdue increase in the minimum wage. Minimum wage workers have been waiting for this raise for ten long and difficult years. They have worked more than one job. They have saved every penny they can for the future of their children. They have decided each day what food they can afford to buy and what bills they can afford pay. Today, these hardworking Americans have hope for a brighter future. And we are one step closer to becoming the America we want to be – where anyone who works hard and plays by the rules can build a better life for their family."

Please head over to to see what that means for federal labor law posting requirements or read our Federal Minimum Wage Increase Q & A and learn more.


War Bill Signed: Minimum Wage Increase Now Law

President Bush signed the bill which contained the provisions for the increase in the federal minimum wage. We'll be keeping you updated on how this will affect your business, and what you'll need to do to comply with the new law.

But it's Saturday, and it's a three-day weekend, so we'll get back to that on Tuesday.

Enjoy your weekend!

- Helene Kopel, G.Neil Blog Queen

SPECIAL UPDATE: Federal Minimum Wage Passed in Congress

This is it...almost. Last night, Congress approved the first increase in the federal minimum wage, in over a decade. This measure would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour from $5.15 in three stages over two years. The bill includes $4.84 billion in tax breaks for small businesses. President Bush has already said he's ready to sign it and once that happens, the wage increase will become law.

We'll be keeping you updated on what this means to you, and how you can ensure compliance with the new laws, so sign up for blog updates on the right side of this page to stay informed (or save this page to your "Favorites" and check back soon)!

You can read more about the news here:
Congress Passes Increase in the Minimum Wage

Federal Minimum Wage - Clearing Up Confusion

Recently, an anonymous comment was left on an old post, Federal Minimum Wage Update: House Combines Minimum Wage Increase to War Spending Bill:

"All of this minimum wage stuff is confusing. Has there or has there not been a bill passed that increases the minimum wage? If so, what is the name/number of the bill?"

As expected, President Bush vetoed HR 1591, which attached the federal minimum wage increase to the emergency war spending bill. Democrats have vowed that the minimum wage increase and small business tax package will happen, one way or another. House and Senate leaders met with the President last week to try to work out a compromise bill and are hoping to wrap it up by Memorial Day recess.

So the answer to the question is – No, a bill to increase the federal minimum wage has not yet been passed. However, analysts are predicting that it should happen within the next month or so.

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