Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DWD Determined $7.25 Minimum Wage Is A Living Wage For Wisconsin's Underpaid Working Class

About 100 underpaid workers filed a complaint with Governor Scott Walker's office on September 24 claiming that making $290 per week or $7.25 per hour is not a living wage under state law.

By H. Nelson Goodson
October 8, 2014

Madison, WI - On Monday, Robert Rodriguez, an administrador for the Equal Rights Division with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on behalf of Governor Scott Walker (R) send out letters to about 100 underpaid workers who filed a complaint that the minimum wage was not a "living wage." Rodriguez wrote, "The Department has determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe that the wages paid to the complainants are not a living wage."
What Governor Walker's office and the DWD are saying, that earning $290 per week before taxes or $7.25 per hour in the State of Wisconsin can sustained a person or a family. In other words, even if the cost of living increases and people are struggling while actually working for minimum wage, they can survive in the state, but in poverty.
About 100 underpaid workers filed complaints with the assistance of Wisconsin Jobs Now (WJN). They submitted testimony and examples detailing that the minimum wage is not a living wage today and were requesting for the state to revise the current minimum wage by increasing the hourly wage to a living wage.
In Wisconsin, if the minimum wage working class can actually show that the current $7.25 per hour is not a living wage, the state can increase the minimum wage under state law.
The WJN released the following statement, "It is outrageous for the Walker administration to claim that there is no reasonable cause to believe that $7.25 (the minimum wage) is not a living wage. To issue this determination without even so much as a follow-up phone call to question or clarify any of the over 100 Wisconsin workers who filed complaints is not only appalling, it is irresponsible.
"Governor Walker might be the only person in the entire country who actually thinks that anyone in today's economy can survive solely on $7.25 an hour. His political stance against raising minimum wage is one thing. But for the governor to brazenly say to the working families of Wisconsin that $7.25 an hour is enough to sustain themselves is not only misguided, it is incredibly ignorant and willfully obtuse. 
"The law in Wisconsin is very clear: 'every wage paid by any employer to any employee shall not be less than
a living wage.' Anyone who works a full and honest day's work should make enough money to pay for the basics. The fact that Governor Walker thinks that $290 a week is what it costs to cover the basics of life in Wisconsin is beyond comprehension. This decision makes it unequivocally clear that Scott Walker is more than out of touch: he is brutally neglectful of a huge percentage of his constituents."

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