Last modified: March 24, 2017
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Minimum wage is the lowest legal compensation paid to workers. It is based on the basic living wages necessary for a person living in a particular place, region or doing a particular job. Minimum wages were introduced to prevent exploitation by the employers. It also important for improving the standard of the employee’s life. Additionally, minimum wage helps in wiping out poverty and compel the business to become more efficient.
However, the detractors are of the opinion that minimum wage only results in increasing unemployment. This is done by side-lining the employees with low work skills. As a result, there is an inflation caused by higher prices demanded by the companies covered by the minimum wage.
In the U.S., the minimum wages the minimum wages have risen from $ 0.25 in 1938 to the present $7.25 per hour. There are differences in the minimum wages paid out in the different States. While some are equal to the federal rates, some others pay higher rates. A few pay lower rates than the federal minimum wage. These rates are meant for those employees who are non-exempt and fall under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The exempted categories of employees include: employees with disabilities, full-time students, young people under age of 20 in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, employees who receive tips and student-learners. Most of the States have separate wage laws for the employees of their State. When the employees who are eligible for federal and state minimum, the higher amount is the one that is taken.
Other countries also have legislations regarding minimum wage and is more common in the developed countries than in the developing ones. The minimum wage is calculated to allow a decent standard of living. The minimum wages also reflect the cost of living in different countries. For instance, the minimum wage in USD per month in 1999 was 1020 in France. It is $907 in the United Kingdom, 796 in the U.S. 764 in Japan and only 477 in Spain (International Labour Office).
Countries in the developing world, do not follow the minimum wage law. Those in the export-oriented or foreign-owned industries, are able to produce goods at a cheaper rate. This skews the market competition. The developed countries are protesting against this non-compliance. They want the law to be imposed in all countries.
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