What is the current minimum wage in Texas?
As of September 2021, the minimum wage in Texas is $7.25 per hour, which is also the federal minimum wage. This means that Texas employers must pay their employees at least $7.25 per hour unless they are exempt from the minimum wage law.
It’s important to note that some cities and counties in Texas have passed local minimum wage laws that set a higher minimum wage than the state or federal level. For example, the city of Austin has a local minimum wage of $15 per hour for employers with more than 26 employees.
Additionally, certain types of workers may be exempt from the minimum wage law, such as tipped employees who receive a certain amount in tips or workers with disabilities who are paid based on their productivity. It’s important to check with your employer or a legal professional if you have any questions about your eligibility for minimum wage in Texas.
How does Texas’s minimum wage compare to other states?
At $7.25 per hour, Texas has the same minimum wage as the federal level, which is the lowest minimum wage allowed by law in the United States. As of September 2021, there are 21 states that have a higher minimum wage than Texas.
Some states, such as California and Washington, have minimum wages that are significantly higher than Texas, with rates of $14 and $13.69 per hour respectively. Other states, such as Florida and Georgia, have minimum wages that are slightly higher than Texas, with rates of $8.65 and $7.25 per hour respectively.
It’s worth noting that some cities and counties in other states have set their own minimum wage laws, so the minimum wage can vary widely depending on where you live and work. Despite this, Texas remains one of the states with the lowest minimum wage in the country.
Who is eligible for the minimum wage in Texas?
In general, all workers in Texas are eligible for the minimum wage, regardless of their occupation or industry. This includes full-time and part-time employees, as well as temporary and seasonal workers.
However, there are some exemptions to the minimum wage law in Texas. For example, workers who are under the age of 20 and are in their first 90 days of employment may be paid a lower wage of $4.25 per hour. Tipped employees, such as servers and bartenders, may also be paid a lower wage of $2.13 per hour, as long as their tips bring their total earnings up to at least $7.25 per hour.
Some workers with disabilities may also be exempt from the minimum wage law, as they may be paid based on their productivity or the level of their disability. However, employers must apply for a special certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to pay workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.
It’s important to note that just because an employer is exempt from the minimum wage law does not mean that they are exempt from other labor laws, such as overtime pay and anti-discrimination laws.
What are the potential benefits and drawbacks of increasing the minimum wage in Texas?
There is ongoing debate about whether Texas should increase its minimum wage beyond the federal level of $7.25 per hour. Advocates for raising the minimum wage argue that it would provide more economic security for low-wage workers and reduce poverty. They also argue that it could stimulate the economy by increasing consumer spending.
Opponents of raising the minimum wage argue that it could lead to job losses, particularly for small businesses that may not be able to afford higher wages. They also argue that it could lead to higher prices for goods and services, as businesses may need to pass on the cost of increased labor to consumers.
There is some evidence to support both sides of this debate. Studies have shown that raising the minimum wage can lead to reduced poverty and increased wages for low-wage workers. However, there is also evidence that it can lead to reduced employment opportunities, particularly for young and low-skilled workers.
Ultimately, the decision to raise the minimum wage in Texas will depend on a variety of factors, including economic conditions, political will, and public opinion.
How can Texans take action to support fair wages for all workers?
There are several ways that Texans can take action to support fair wages for all workers, including:
Contacting elected representatives: Texans can reach out to their state and federal representatives to express their support for increasing the minimum wage and other policies that support fair wages.
Supporting worker-led organizations: There are many organizations in Texas that are led by workers and advocates who are fighting for fair wages and better working conditions. Texans can support these organizations by volunteering, donating, or spreading the word about their work.
Voting: Texans can use their voice at the ballot box to support candidates who prioritize fair wages and workers’ rights.
Supporting businesses that pay fair wages: Texans can choose to support businesses that pay their workers fair wages and provide good working conditions. This can include shopping at local businesses, supporting worker-owned cooperatives, and boycotting businesses that have a history of labor violations.
Educating themselves and others: Texans can learn more about the impact of low wages on workers and the economy, and share this information with their friends, family, and colleagues. By raising awareness about the importance of fair wages, Texans can help build support for policies and practices that support workers’ rights.