Georgia key to minimum wage

Control of the Senate hinges on the upcoming Georgia runoff elections, with the future of the federal minimum wage law hanging in the balance.

The eyes of the nation focus on Georgia, where a Democratic presidential nominee hadn’t won since 1992 until it delivered a victory for President-elect Joe Biden in 2020.

Senate Republicans under Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not pass an increase in the federal minimum wage, but Democrats will.

This has significant implications for Georgia, where nearly half of the Peach State’s workers make under $15 an hour.

The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour but many states and localities require employers to provide greater remuneration to workers.

A change in the federal minimum wage could impact poor workers in the Garden State depending on the terms in the law.

New Jersey’s minimum wage is currently $11 per hour but on Jan. 1, the minimum is set to increase $1 every year until it reaches $15 per hour in 2024.

The New Jersey minimum wage will increase at a slower rate for small businesses with six or fewer employees, seasonal businesses, and farm labor under legislation enacted by Gov. Phil Murphy.

A federal law may not be written to exclude those performing back-breaking agricultural labor and employees at small companies.

For low paid American workers to have any chance at a raise, voters must oust Georgia’s Republican senators, including David Perdue, who previously helmed Dollar General, a company that has thrived on underpaying workers and exploiting poverty.

The runoff elections will take place on Tuesday, January 5, 2021.

Individuals who want to help support Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, the Democratic candidates for Senate in Georgia, may contact Fair Fight, the organization founded by Stacey Abrams after she was robbed of the state’s governorship in the 2018 election.

Abrams was defeated by Republican Brian Kemp, who used his position as then-Secretary of State to target Black and Brown citizens for voter suppression tactics including removal from registration rolls in order to silence their voices.

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