Current minimum wage laws not always enforced

The Labor Department says they've recovered $270 million in back wages for 270 thousand workers

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

CHICOPEE Mass. (WWLP) – There’s a push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. But there’s concern that many businesses are not enforcing current minimum wage laws.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 1.7 million workers in 2014 were paid less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Workers have complained of restaurants paying a flat wage of $350 a week, or about $4.85 an hour with no tips or overtime pay.

The Labor Department says they’ve recovered $270 million in back wages for 270 thousand workers.

22News asked people if more should be done to enforce minimum wage laws. David Stachowiak said, “I think that’s ridiculous, I don’t know how someone could even live on $7.25 an hour let alone less than that. So not only should people be paid at least the minimum wage I think the minimum wage needs to be increased.”

The Labor Department cannot enforce local minimum wage laws for states and towns that pay above the federal rate.

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