Many minimum wage employees are protesting for the need for higher starting pay. The current wage and hour laws have not been updated by the government for several years. While there are some states that require companies to pay a higher rate than the federal level of about $7 an hour, that pay is just not keeping pace with the rising costs of living. California workers may also benefit if the minimum rate were increased for the lowest paying positions.
According to figures that have recently been published concerning the type of jobs and the average salary, there has been a sizable loss of what is termed middle-class jobs and the accompanying salary. The average minimum paid worker has seen a drop in their actual bring home pay by more than four percent when inflation is added in to the figures. Workers in some food service industries as well as other low paying positions, decided to recently hold a brief strike in the form of walking off their jobs for a time.
While such an action is probably unlikely to produce favorable results in most companies, it does draw some much needed attention to the struggles that lower paid workers must face. There have also been some attempts made in the federal government to try and drum up support for bills that would increase the minimum wage by around three dollars per hour. There are several corporate heads that do favor providing workers with a better salary because they feel that it would benefit all involved.
Statistics have shown that many of the lower paid jobs are being held by workers that have acquired higher education and many are no longer the expected younger, unskilled employee. Many employers are no longer offering full time employment, and can therefore offer lower wages and fewer benefits. Until there are overhauls in the minimum required salaries for workers, there may not be an improvement in many families' situations. However, California does have wage and hour laws that may be able to help workers that are possibly being underpaid or are not being paid for the hours that they have worked.
Source: management.fortune.cnn.com, "America's hourly wage battle heats up," Elizabeth G. Olson, July 29, 2013