Who Decides to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage?


Quick Answer

Raising the federal minimum wage requires an act of the United States Congress. The National Employment Law Project and others are advocating in 2015 for an increase above the current minimum threshold of $7.25 an hour.

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Who Decides to Increase the Federal Minimum Wage?
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Full Answer

The federal minimum wage was instituted as part of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938 as a way to keep individuals and families from slipping below the poverty level. States and local governments retain the authority to raise their minimum wage above the federal minimum. As of Feb. 24, 2015, 29 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the federal rate, some due to laws that indexed the minimum wage to reflect a rising cost of living. The District of Columbia has the highest minimum wage at $9.50 an hour.

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