Posted March 1, 2022
Following is a statement from Rebecca Dixon, executive director of the National Employment Law Project:
“We join President Biden’s call to Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and to end the shameful $2.13 subminimum wage for tipped workers, younger workers, and people with disabilities.
“It is past time for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage and deliver tangible results to the working people they represent, rather than just paying lip service to frontline workers whose labor they take for granted.
It is past time for Congress to raise the wage and deliver results to the working people they represent, and not just pay lip service to frontline workers whose labor they take for granted.
“Because Republicans in Congress have refused to deal with this issue, the federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 per hour since 2009, and the subminimum wage for tipped workers has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour for more than 30 years. Even before this year’s record inflation, the minimum wage was losing value every year, as the cost of living rises while the minimum wage stays flat.
“Underpaid workers—especially Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous workers—have organized to demand and win higher wages, safer working conditions, and dignified jobs. The pandemic’s exposure of stark workplace inequities has only fueled the growing momentum behind this movement.
“In fact, a record number of 81 state and local jurisdictions will raise their minimum wages over the course of 2022. But 20 states have refused to raise their wage floors above the federal rate. Roughly half those states are in the South, where a majority of Black workers live and experience higher levels of poverty and downward economic mobility.
“President Biden is right. Action on this issue is long overdue. It’s time to raise the federal minimum wage.”