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Congressional Democrats today introduced a new bill to substantially raise the federal minimum wage – to $12 by 2020 -- tie future increases to rising overall wages, and incrementally raise the minimum wage for tipped workers until it equals the overall federal minimum. Prompted by the growing ‘Fight for $15’ movement among fast food and allied workers, as well as a wave of higher wage campaigns in cities across the country, the new federal bill sets a down a higher baseline marker for minimum wage efforts nationally. The proposal would boost hourly pay for nearly 38 million workers in the U.S.

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Fight for $15 Movement Grows With Largest Low-Wage Worker Protests in U.S. History

From the Midwest plains and the Great Lakes, from the Deep South to the great Northwest, from the big cities on the East Coast to the port cities of California – in 230 cities and towns across the country April 15, 2015 marked the largest protests by low-wage workers in the nation’s history.

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Data Points: Many of the Highest-Growth Occupations Are Low-Wage Jobs

NELP’s prior labor market analyses showed that employment growth during the recovery has been concentrated in lower-wage industries and occupations. Prompted by newly released Occupational Employment Statistics data, our researchers took a fresh look at wages in the occupations projected to grow the most through 2022 to see if low pay might still predominate.

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Seattle’s Path to Historic $15 Minimum Wage Starts With First Phase Increase Today

The first phase of Seattle’s groundbreaking $15 minimum wage takes effect today, with large employers -- and small employers where compensation does not include tips or health benefits -- required to pay a minimum of $11 per hour for the rest of this year. Other small employers are required to pay at least a $10 minimum wage. Further increases will take effect at the start of next year and subsequent years, with the minimum wage for large employers – those with more than 500 employees -- reaching $15 per hour in 2017.

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Congressional Democrats Ready New Bill for $12 Federal Minimum Wage

Congressional Democrats are preparing a new bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the senior Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, are working to craft the measure and introduce it by late April. Advocates expect that it will include annual increases in each of the next five years to bring the federal minimum wage, currently stuck at a poverty-level $7.25 per hour, to $12 in 2020 and then adjust it each year after that to rise with increases in the overall median wage. Equally significant, it will also phase out altogether the lower subminimum wage for tipped workers.

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L.A. Minimum Wage Increases Would Boost Economy and Workers’ Incomes, Two University Studies Show

The Los Angeles City Council is considering proposals to raise the citywide minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017 and to $15.25 by 2019, and two separate research studies released yesterday show those higher wage rates would have substantially positive effects on the local economy and many workers’ earnings.

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Raise Up Roundup – March 11, 2015

Welcome to the first Raise Up Roundup, a new feature with timely news highlights on the fight to raise the minimum wage and workers’ pay from around the country. We start on the west coast, where workers in the East Bay area last week celebrated the new $12.25 per hour minimum wage that went into effect in Oakland, California, March 2. The increase, which was the result of a citywide ballot initiative that passed overwhelmingly in November of last year, will boost pay for more than 40,000 workers by an average of about $2,700 per year.

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