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Minimum wage hike considered by state
Sara Kyle
Sara Kyle

A bill is being considered that would require Tennessee employers to pay employees wages at an hourly rate that’s more than the federal minimum wage. 

Memphis Sen. Sara Kyle is sponsoring Senate Bill 2670 and aims to raise minimum wage rates. The bill proposes raising the minimum wage rate a dollar per year starting Jan. 1, 2023 at $12 an hour and ending in 2027 at $15 an hour. Starting Jan. 1, 2027 they will then review the minimum wage rate and the wage will be increased to an amount measurable to the cost of living.  

The bill also establishes the minimum overtime hourly rate for any employee exceeding 40 hours during the work week must be 1.5 times the regular wage rate. Any employer who violates the minimum wage requirement of this bill will be liable to the employee affected for the amount of unpaid minimum wages. The statute of limitations for a claim brought under this bill will be two years, but in a case where the court finds the employer willfully violated the bill the statute of limitations is three years. If the judgment is awarded to the employee, the court must require the employer to pay court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the employee.

The current minimum wage in Tennessee is $7.25. The bill is assigned to General Subcommittee of Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.