The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• John F. Kennedy
Press Release of Senator John F. Kennedy, on Minimum Wage Bill, Washington, DC
August 18, 1960

Senator John F. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, tonight expressed strong satisfaction with the minimum wage bill, voted by the Senate 62 to 34.

The minimum wage bill, as passed by the Senate today, will extend protection of the minimum wage and the overtime requirements to approximately 4 million additional employees and will also provide for an increase to $1.25 in the existing minimum wage. The bill which passed the Senate provides for new coverage for employees of retail and retail service enterprises having annual gross sales of a million dollars or more, for employees in laundries with an annual gross sales of a million dollars, for local transit workers, seamen, telephone operators, and employees engaged in fish processing. In addition, it provides new coverage for all employees in an establishment which already has some employees covered by the present law.

For presently covered employees the new rate will be $1.15 the first year, beginning January 1, 1961; $1.20 for the second year; and $1.25 thereafter.

For the newly covered employees the minimum rate will be $1 for the first year, beginning January 1, 1961; $1.05 for the second year; $1.15 for the third year; and $1.25 thereafter. The newly covered employees will also be protected by the overtime provision on a graduated basis. No overtime will apply during the first year, beginning January 1, 1961. In the second year, overtime will be required after 44 hours, after 42 hours in the third year, and after 40 hours thereafter.

Exemptions were voted for employees of hotels, motels, restaurants, automobile dealers, and farm equipment dealers.

In addition, individual retail and service stores doing less than $250,000 gross income business each year will be exempt from the provisions of the act.

Citation: John F. Kennedy: "Press Release of Senator John F. Kennedy, on Minimum Wage Bill, Washington, DC", August 18, 1960. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=74088.
 
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