The Brookhaven City Council raised the minimum wage for part-time city employees to $15 an hour, passing a resolution at its Jan. 26 meeting. The pay raise went into effect Jan. 30.

Mayor John Ernst said the city raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour for full-time employees about three years ago, but he realized recently a small amount of part-time employees — about five or six, he said — were making less than that amount. 

Ernst credited Councilmember Linley Jones with identifying the problem.

“I thank Linley for raising this to my attention,” he said. “Thank you staff for quickly moving on this.”

The decision came during an ongoing national movement to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. Legislation called the Raise the Wage Act was introduced in 2019 and passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but was not taken up by the then Republican-controlled Senate. 

A new Raise the Wage Act was introduced into Congress on Jan. 26, looking to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next four years. That legislation is supported by both of Georgia’s newly-elected Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. 

Georgia’s state minimum wage sits at $5.15 per hour, one of only two states with a minimum wage below the federal amount. The city of Atlanta raised its minimum wage for city workers to $15 per hour in 2017.

“I believe we need to pay a living wage, an accepted wage, for everyone,” Ernst said. “And make this resolution so we can make that happen.”