Two competing bills submitted by two Democratic senators seek the raise the minimum wage in Indiana. Indiana is surrounded by states who have raised their minimum wage from Illinois and Michigan to Ohio. But the fight to raise the minimum wage is encountering resistance in Indiana. Some lawmakers and business groups argue that raising the minimum wage too much could have drastic consequences for the economy and make Indiana less competitive.
One bill would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.62 an hour. The other bill would raise it to $15 an hour for most Indiana workers. But most experts believe that both bills are likely to go nowhere. Indiana is controlled by the Republicans in both chambers, and they hold a super-majority.
Proponents of the bills argue that Indiana’s cost of living has gone up 60 percent in the past ten years. Conversely, the minimum wage has increased only six percent. Furthermore, many proponents point out that the arguments raised by detractors are the same raised the federal minimum wage. They claim that American business continues to hum and that works can now live on more livable wages.
Opponents fear that raising the minimum wage would strangle small businesses. Furthermore, it could make Indiana less competitive. Opponents argue that Indiana has a competitive advantage now that other states have raised their minimum wages. Indiana could capture some of that business by keeping its business-friendly environment.
Regardless of where these wage and hours bills go, you are entitled to a minimum wage of $7.25 (unless you are a tipped employee, i.e. waiter). If you believe that your employer is not paying you the statutory minimum wage, then you should consult with a lawyer at your earliest convenience. If your employer isn’t paying you the correct amount, then you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages and possibly interest. A lawyer can go over the details of the lawsuit with you and outline a possible strategy.