RIVERWOODS, Ill., July 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers in most states will
not be affected by the upcoming increase in the federal minimum wage to
$5.85, according to CCH, a leading provider of human resources information
and software and part of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business (http://hr.cch.com).
CCH has been reporting on federal wage and hour law since the enactment of
the first federal minimum wage in 1938. That's because 32 states and the
District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the new federal level.
"Over the last ten years, while the federal minimum wage has been
steady at $5.15 per hour, more and more states have set their minimum wages
above that, and above the new minimum as well," said Barbara O'Dell, JD,
CCH workplace analyst.
States began to pass minimum wage laws early in the last century, often
as a way to protect women workers, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned
them, and a federal attempt to fix wages, until the mid 1930s. In 1937, the
Court upheld a Washington law mandating a minimum wage for women workers.
Then, Congress passed a federal minimum wage of 25 cents an hour as part of
the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938, and it too was upheld as
constitutional in 1941.
When Rates Differ
Where state and federal minimum wage rates differ, the higher rate
-- Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee do not
have state minimum wage laws, so employers must pay the federal rate to
employees who are subject to the FLSA;
-- In Georgia, Kansas, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, the state minimum
wage rates are lower than the revised federal rate, so employers must
pay the federal rate to employees who are subject to the FLSA (however,
the New Mexico rate will increase to $6.50 on January 1, 2008).
-- In Idaho, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota,
Texas and Virginia, the state rates are tied to the federal rate and
will automatically increase (however, the New Hampshire rate will then
increase to $6.50 on September 1, 2007).
The remaining states and the District of Columbia have minimum wage
rates that will equal or exceed the federal rate on July 24, 2007.
Employers in these states must continue to pay the state rate as long as it
remains higher than the federal rate. In Minnesota, Montana and Nevada,
some employers currently paying a state-authorized lower minimum wage based
on their size or offering benefits will be affected by the federal
If the federal rate increases above the state rate, the federal rate
applies, and the federal hourly rate is scheduled to increase to $6.55 on
July 24, 2008 and to $7.25 on July 24, 2009. For a timeline of federal
minimum wage rates 1938-2009, go to
"Employers -- especially those who operate in several different states
-- will have to keep aware of a changing environment as federal and state
rates criss-cross in the years ahead," O'Dell said.
A state-by-state list of hourly wage rates follows for states at or
above the new federal level as of July 24, 2007.
Hourly Minimum Wage Rates as of July 24, 2007
District of Columbia $7.00
Minnesota $6.15 ($5.25 for employers with less than
$625,000 in gross annual sales)
Montana $6.15 ($4.00 for employers with $110,000 or less
in gross annual sales)
Nevada $6.33 ($5.15 if qualified health benefits are
New Jersey $7.15
New York $7.15
North Carolina $6.15
Pennsylvania $7.15 ($6.65 for employers with 10 or fewer
Rhode Island $7.40
West Virginia $6.55
About Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a leading provider of research
products and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and
business professionals, as well as casebooks and study aids for law
students. Its major product lines include Aspen Publishers, CCH, Kluwer Law
International and Loislaw. Its markets include law firms, law schools,
corporate counsel and professionals requiring legal and compliance
information. Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, a unit of Wolters Kluwer, is
based in New York City and Riverwoods, Ill.
Wolters Kluwer is a leading global information services and publishing
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SOURCE CCH, part of Wolters Kluwer Law & Business