The FLSA established a national minimum wage of 25¢ an hour, mandated time-and-a-half for overtime in certain jobs, prohibited most child labor, and established a 44-hour work week, which was lowered to 40 hours in 1940.
Although the federal minimum wage has risen to $7.25 per hour, states are permitted to enact a higher minimum wage, depending on their constitutions. For several years now, more than half of the states have had minimum wages higher than the federal minimum. Twenty-one states are increasing their minimum wage this year. The largest increases are in Illinois (21.21%), New Mexico (20%), Washington (12.5%), and New Jersey (10%). Some states have passed legislation to gradually raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour over the next few years. On the federal level, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R.582) last summer, the "Raise the Wage Act," to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and adjust it annually thereafter. However, the bill has never been considered by the Republican-controlled Senate. Nearly every Democratic candidate for president has expressed support for a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.