- While more than a dozen states and several cities have passed laws to raise the minimum wage over time, some states are enacting laws geared to stop cities and towns from changing workers' pay and benefits, such as standardized scheduling and paid leave, CBS News reports.
- For example, Alabama recently passed a law that bars any city from setting its own minimum wage, CBS reports. There are now 15 states that have those laws on the books, with a few others in progress, according to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), which advocates for increasing minimum wages. On the flip side, there are 14 states who have raised their minimum wage as 2016 began, CBS reports.
- Some state governments argue that raising the minimum wage is bad for both employers and, as a result, for low-paid employees, who may lose jobs when businesses shut down. Living wage supports, of course, disagree.
The battle over minimum wages pitting states against local municipalities has happened before, CBS reports. But then the federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 mandated setting hourly pay at $7.25 as of July 2009, and that remains today's mandated federal minimum wage.
"It's the revitalization of a trend. During that period when minimum wage was really stuck up to 2007, there was a big growth in living-wage ordinances," Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of companies that advocates for a minimum wage that's indexed to the cost of living, told CBS. "Every time you have a long period, the less likely you'll catch up on the ground that was lost, even when you raise the minimum wage."