A controversial labor organization has gained traction throughout the United States, and it may soon bring significant changes to Wisconsin’s minimum wage laws. Led by the Service Employees International Union, the Fight for $15 movement has the goal of setting a national minimum wage of at least $15 per hour, or $31,200 per year. The federal minimum wage currently sits at $7.25 an hour, which comes to $15,080 a year.
A prison for teens is facing a severe and ongoing shortage of employees. The lack of staffing has led to deteriorating conditions for workers. A recent change in Wisconsin law reduced the power of workers' unions to negotiate for better wage and hour laws.
A large company has had a busy year for legal cases. Epic, a corporation based in Wisconsin, appeared before the Supreme Court in early October to get a ruling about its preferred method for handling a wage dispute. In another case, the company had a reduction in the award, stemming from a trade secrets case.
The concept of the minimum wage stretches back over a hundred years in this country. Wisconsin jumped on the bandwagon early and has a rich history with wage and hour laws. From the meager beginnings of 22 cents an hour, to today's talks of a $15 an hour payout, the rules governing payments to employees have certainly evolved over the last century.
State government is looking at ways to become more cost effective for big budget projects. Currently, the Wisconsin legislature is considering changes to prevailing wage and hour laws, citing imperfect methods of computing the prevailing wage. Proponents of the change argue that by repealing prevailing wage laws, tax dollar waste will be reduced and big budget state infrastructure projects will become more affordable. One recent news article comments on the wage issue in depth.