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Federal, City Lawmakers Push To Raise Wages On National Minimum Wage Day

Minimum wage activists demonstrated in Dayton in December 2013.
Lewis Wallace

Today is October 10, 10/10—and it’s been declared National Minimum Wage Day. $10.10 is the new minimum wage many advocates are calling for.Right now Ohio’s minimum wage is $7.95, and it will automatically go up to $8.10 on January 1, 2015.

For tipped workers, the minimum is still under $4.00; the January adjustment will raise the Ohio tipped wage just above that. Ohio’s Democratic U.S. Senator, Sherrod Brown, is calling for a change to the standards for tipped workers. He cites a recent report that finds tipped restaurant workers are disproportionately women, and disproportionately subject to harassment and economic insecurity. He’s cosponsored a bill that would raise the tipped minimum alongside the standard minimum wage.

A Rasmussen poll earlier this year found 75 percent of American adults think the minimum wage should be at least $10.10 an hour. Still, there’s little political will to pass a law at the state or federal level. In Cincinnati, city council members are getting around that by encouraging employers to pay more voluntarily: the newly-launched website Cincinnatilivingwage.com will recognize employers who choose to pay at least $10.10 an hour.