ATLANTA (CBS46) – The national push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has come to Georgia with the introduction of House Bill 116.
The bill, HB 116, is sponsored by six Democratic representatives. It looks to increase the minimum wage, “to provide a credit toward the minimum wage for employers of tipped workers;” and to “eliminate eligibility exemptions from the minimum wage.”
According to the bill text, every employer, “whether a person, firm, or corporation,” would be required to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour, up from the current level listed in the bill as $5.15. However, the low level is trumped for most employees by the federal minimum wage which is currently $7.25.
The bill said the minimum wage raise wouldn’t apply to: any employer that has sales of $50,000 per year or less; any employee who is a high school or college student; any individual who is employed as a newspaper carrier, along with specific stipulations for people employed “by a nonprofit child-caring institution or long-term care facility.”
Also included in the bill is specific language that allows employers of people that meet the eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act may “credit tips toward the satisfaction of up to 50 percent” of the new minimum wage of $15.
Legislature’s across the United States have considered similar bills, but only a few cities and states have gone as far as to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Under the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a full-time worker who woks every week would have an income of approximately $15,080. For a two-person household, with one person working, that would be about $1,800 below the federal poverty level of $16,910.
As of 2017, since the minimum wage was last raised in 2009 to $7.25, the wage has lost approximately 9.6 percent of its purchasing power, according to Pew Research.