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Students denied state minimum wage

Many students are aware that Illinois increased its minimum wage to $9.25 per hour as of Jan. 1, but Bradley University is not required to pay its student employees the new state minimum wage.

“The law states that student workers employed by a college or university, who are covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, are exempt from the law’s minimum wage requirements,” said Erin Kastberg, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel of the university.

The minimum wage in Illinois will increase to $15 an hour by 2025. According to Kastberg, the university will be evaluating if wages need to be adjusted.

According to minimumwage.org, colleges and universities can pay registered full-time students as little as 85 percent of the minimum wage.

Employers on campus can choose to increase the hourly wage if the operational needs and budget allow for a raise.

Markin Recreation Center is one of the employers that made the decision to raise their minimum wage to $9.25 an hour.

Junior health science major Jem Salmon works as a supervisor at Markin and said that the increase was nice, but she wouldn’t have left if she didn’t get it.

“Because it’s on campus, Markin is a very convenient place to work and helps me further my leadership skills,” Salmon said. “The increase was just a bonus.”

Kastberg assured the university is evaluating the impact of minimum wage and considers it an important issue now and in the future.

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