Lawmakers look at bill to raise minimum wage in Tennessee

Tennessee's minimum wage hasn't changed since 2009
Minimum wage
Posted at 5:02 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 10:20:30-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Tuesday, a bill is to be discussed by a Senate committee to increase the minimum wage in Tennessee from $7.25 to $15 over four years.

The wages would go up to $12 in 2023, $13 in 2024, $14 in 2025 and finally to $15 in 2026.

This bill would also require an employer to pay an employee at least one-and-a-half times the hourly rate for overtime (more than 40 hours a week).

Tennessee's minimum wage hasn't changed since 2009, when the federal minimum wage changed to $7.25. Someone working full time on minimum wage would only make about $15,000 a year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says about 4% of Tennessee's workforce was paid the minimum hourly rate in 2020.

According to MIT's Living Wage Calculator, the living wage for an adult with one child in Davidson County is $28.21.

For a single person and no kids, the living wage is $14.84.

If the bill passes, this would end up costing the state government, as the state has more than 1,300 employees that would have their wage increased.

State institutions like the UT system would also have to spend money to bring workers up to the new hourly wage.