In March’s State of the Union address, Obama proposed for the national minimum wage to be increased from $7.25 to $9, with future raises based on increases in the cost of living.  Currently the minimum wage in California is $8 per hour, with a bill pending that will raise it to $8.25 per hour in 2014, $8.75 in 2015 and $9.25 in 2016. If your employer did not pay you overtime wages or the minimum wage, or if you want to confirm that you are being paid properly, contact your Los Angeles employment lawyer today.

According to The Press Enterprise, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that the poverty line for a two-person household was $15,130 in 2012. That means that a minimum-wage worker in California, assuming this person gets eight hours of work every day, would earn $16,640, enough to officially stay out of poverty.

There have been mixed reviews from those against and for the increase. Opponents claim that most of the money would go to those who work part-time such as students, who use their money for leisurely spending.  In addition, opponents claim that employers would not have enough money left to give to higher paid employees.

On the other side, those for the increase claim that it will benefit those who can barely get by. Specifically in California where the cost of living is the second highest in the nation, many minimum wage jobs are simply not enough to cover the living expenses, let alone rent.

A statewide study by the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley found that out of a workforce of 16.6 million in California, 12 percent make less than $8.80 per hour.  According to the Press Enterprise, the difference between the current federal minimum of $7.25 and Obama’s proposal of $9 would put an extra $70 a week.

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