“The introduction of the new Raise the Wage Act in Congress today sends an important message that the coast-to-coast demand for a $15 minimum wage is working. Federal lawmakers who truly stand with working people and their families should be ready to make it a national standard. We commend Senators Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Patty Murray (Wash.) and Representatives Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (Va.) and Keith Ellison (Minn.) for prioritizing this badly needed legislation. And we applaud the worker activists nationwide whose advocacy has paved the way for this bill. Raising the minimum wage would be a major boost for workers and families, businesses and our economy.
By gradually raising the federal minimum wage rate to $15 by 2024 and eliminating the appallingly low tipped minimum wage, which has been stuck at $2.13 for more than 25 years, the Raise the Wage Act would be a significant step toward fairer wages in this country, especially for women and people of color. Forty-one million workers would benefit from the wage increase in the bill, including two-fifths of Black workers and one-third of Latino workers. And the majority of the workers who would benefit are women, full-time employees and people between the ages of 25 and 54.
A minimum wage increase is essential to achieving fair pay for women. Women are the majority of minimum wage and tipped minimum wage workers, which contributes to the persistent gender wage gap. The Raise the Wage Act – along with policies that enable women to stay and advance in the workforce, such as protections against pay and pregnancy discrimination, paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and predictable schedules – would help close that gap while strengthening the economy and providing some much-needed financial security to families. Its passage must be a priority.”