This week, the House of Representatives will have a chance to end a pernicious legacy of slavery. They will vote on the Raise the Wage Act, which would boost the minimum wage across the country to $15 an hour by 2024. This would be a crucial step towards the first federal minimum wage increase in more than a decade.
A just-released Congressional Budget Office report finds that a $15 minimum wage would have tremendous benefits for low-wage workers of all races and ethnicities. Yet the stakes are particularly high for black workers. The share who would benefit from the Raise the Wage Act is far larger than the share of white workers who would benefit—38 percent compared to 23 percent.
There’s another provision in the legislation—eliminating the subminimum tipped wage—that corrects a wrong that goes much further back than the last federal minimum wage increase. For workers regularly making more than $30 a month in tips, employers can currently pay as little as $2.13 an hour.