Airport workers rallied Monday for higher wages near LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Candidates take the stage before the Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox Business News in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Jeffrey Phelps/AP hide caption

toggle caption Jeffrey Phelps/AP

Low-wage workers and supporters protest for a $15 an hour minimum wage Tuesday in New York City as part of what organizers called a National Day of Action. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In San Antonio, a church-based group is helping to raise the minimum wage for city employees. Koocheekoo/Flickr hide caption

toggle caption Koocheekoo/Flickr

Labor leaders, workers and activists attend a rally for a $15 minimum hourly wage Wednesday in New York City. A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended the increase. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Demonstrators rally before a meeting of a state wage board in New York. On Wednesday, a state panel recommended the minimum wage for fast-food employees be raised to $15 an hour, bypassing the state Legislature. Seth Wenig/AP hide caption

toggle caption Seth Wenig/AP

Aetna announced one of its largest pay hikes recently. CEO Mark Bertolini says he believes it largely could pay for itself by making workers more productive. Courtesy of Aetna hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Aetna

McDonald's announced this week that it will pay workers in its company-owned stores $1 more per hour than the local minimum wage. Wal-Mart, Target and the parent company of Marshalls and TJ Maxx have also promised to boost wages for their lowest-paid workers this year. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Lucy Nicholson/Reuters/Landov

Diners fill Riverpark, a New York City restaurant, in January. Restaurateurs fear that the tipped-wage hike being proposed in New York will force them to get rid of tipping altogether. Brad Barket/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Brad Barket/Getty Images

Fast-food workers in Los Angeles march in August 2013 to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Similar protests around the country have been organized by labor unions. Nick Ut/AP hide caption

toggle caption Nick Ut/AP

Protesters assemble in front of a McDonald's in Los Angeles, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage in September. Paul Buck/EPA/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Paul Buck/EPA/Landov

Srirupa Dasgupta opened Upohar, a restaurant and catering service, with a social mission. Her employees — primarily refugees — earn double the minimum wage. Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor