Essay The Minimum Wage For A Living Wage

807 Words Jul 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Since President Obama announced his minimum wage proposal in his 2014 State of the Union address, there have been conflicting opinions regarding its impact on the working poor. Proponents of the proposed $10.10 federal minimum wage say that it is essential because it provides low wage earners a living wage. The term living wage is the hourly rate that a person must earn to afford basic necessities such as housing, food, transportation, and health care. Opponents counter this argument by raising concerns about the effects such an increase would have on the poverty rate. Is the federal minimum wage an effective tool to lift people out of poverty? Although the proposed increase has drawbacks, raising the federal minimum wage to a living wage is a step in the right direction to improving the standard of living for the working poor. The U.S. federal minimum wage was established under the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. The purpose of the legislation was to define and protect workers ' rights. One such right that is guaranteed under the legislation is overtime pay. For every hour that an employee works over the standard 40 hour workweek, said employee is entitled to one and one half his or her standard pay rate. The legislation also entitles workers to a minimum pay rate which is known as the federal minimum wage. Employers are required to compensate an employee at a rate equal to or above the federal minimum wage unless the worker falls under one of the exceptions. States also…

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