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Minimum wage to increase in New York and elsewhere

Minimum wage workers in New York will see a rise in pay of up to $4,000 per year as a $15 minimum wage is phased in. It is one of a number of states throughout the country that have approved minimum wages increases, and the movement appears to be growing. Currently, more than 40 percent of employees in the country make less than $15 per hour.

Some states and communities have seen pushback against the increase. Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a minimum wage increase in New Jersey, but the leading gubernatorial candidate in that state supports the increase. In Flagstaff, Arizona, voters approved the increase while business owners fought against it. However, the minimum wage there is now set to increase to $15.50 per hour. In a number of states including Illinois, Vermont and Massachusetts, there are also calls to raise the hourly wage.

According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the minimum wage increase has not dampened employment. In fact, it appears that any effect is offset by the fact that consumers have more to spend. In some communities, chambers of commerce and other business organization have either not opposed or have supported the increase.

Fair pay is an important issue for employees, and in some cases, employees may find that they are being denied overtime pay or facing other unfair pay practices. Employees in this situation may want to talk to an attorney to make certain that they understand their rights. For example, an employer might claim that they have calculated the employee's hours in such a way that they are not due overtime pay. An attorney may be able to assist the employee in dealing with the situation through channels at work or in filing a lawsuit if necessary.

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