by Fran Quigley
Clinical Professor of Law (Faculty Profile)
Health and Human Rights Clinic
Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 111N
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225
Proposals to raise the U.S. minimum wage have attracted a great deal of attention in the last several years. At the federal level, President Obama and many members of Congress have expressed support, via the Fair Minimum Wage Act, for an increase in the U.S. minimum wage. . The legislation calls for an increase to $10.10 per hour for most workers, compared to the current minimum of $7.25 per hour. . The bill also would increase the bottom level of pay for tipped workers from $2.13 per hour to 70% of the hourly worker minimum, and index both hourly and tipped worker wage levels for inflation. .
The federal bill has not passed, but twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have all raised their minimum wage above the federal level. . At least 140 individual communities have passed living wage ordinances, which raise salaries above the federal or state minimums. . Bills proposing an increase in Indiana’s minimum wage, currently set to mirror the federal level,  failed to get a hearing in the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly. .
The minimum wage debate has often been characterized by misstatements of facts and forecasts that are not supported by evidence. In an effort to separate the myths from the reality, here are four arguments for raising the minimum wage: