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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 down a higher baseline marker for minimum wage efforts nationally. The proposal would boost hourly pay for 35 million workers in the U.S.

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Los Angeles Becomes Largest City to Adopt $15 Minimum Wage

Los Angeles, California, the nation’s second largest city, set a new milestone today, becoming the latest and largest city to set a $15 per hour minimum wage. The city council voted 14-1 to adopt a plan that will raise the minimum wage in annual steps to $15 by 2020 for large employers and by 2021 for those with 25 or fewer employees. The council directed the city attorney to draft the new ordinance and include a provision to tie further increases to rising consumer prices, so that minimum wage workers won’t fall further behind.

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Prompted by Growing Fight for $15 Movement, NY Governor Moves to Raise Wages for Fast-Food Workers

If anyone still doubted the ability of workers to organize and win substantial minimum wage gains, those doubts should have disappeared yesterday when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that his administration will convene a special wage board to review and recommend higher wage rates for fast-food workers in the state. The governor’s move is clearly a response to the growing Fight for $15 movement, which began with fast-food workers in New York City less than three years ago. That movement has expanded nationally, with large-scale strikes and protests joined by other groups of workers, including homecare, airport, hotel, warehouse and retail workers.

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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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