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Minimum wage round-up

Here’s some background on what’s been happening with minimum wage in Wisconsin:

Minimum wage on the ballot

Thanks to the efforts of Raise Wisconsin activists and volunteers, over two million people will have the opportunity to vote on whether the state should increase the minimum wage.

Workers file official complaints, then lawsuit

According to Chapter 104 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, Wisconsin’s minimum wage is required by law to be a living wage. A living wage is defined under the law as one that provides “reasonable comfort, reasonable physical well-being, decency, and moral well-being.”

On Sept 24, underpaid workers filed over 100 minimum wage complaints, illustrating that it is impossible to live on a minimum wage job, with the Department of Workforce Development. The law gives Governor Walker’s administration the obligation to address the complaints within the following 20 days.

On October 6, Scott Walker and the DWD gave their response. Without interviewing any of the workers named in the complaint, the DWD “found no reasonable cause to believe that the wages paid to the complainants are not a living wage.” According to their press advisory, DWD’s determination was reached partly based on the fact that many of the workers who filed complaints are on public assistance, and therefore have “additional income.” Read Wisconsin Job Now’s response here.

An open records request revealed that the Walker administration did not conduct even a cursory investigation as required by law. On October 27, refusing to be ignored, workers filed a lawsuit telling Scott Walker that he has to follow the law.

Sign the petition to get Gov. Walker to obey the law and raise the state’s minimum wage to a living wage.

Get Out The Vote

To raise the minimum wage, the Raise WI campaign held a rally on October 14 and announced that underpaid Wisconsinites are launching an intense Get Out the Vote effort and have already gathered 25,000 pledges to vote in November for a governor who will raise minimum wage.

For more information, please contact Lisa Lucas, lisa@wisconsinjobsnow.org.

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