Federal wage jumps from $5.15 to $5.85

Today the federal minimum wage increases to $5.85 an hour from $5.15 an hour.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 will hike the minimum wage in three steps. Today's rise is the first of the three. It will jump to $6.55 an hour July 24, 2008, and to $7.25 July 24, 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

All workers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are entitled to the pay increase. Their employers are also required to pay them on their normal paydays for all hours worked during a pay period.