This was one of the main points of a column that Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardee's parent company CKE Restaurants, made in a WSJ column today. The column was complaining over President Obama's decision to raise the salary floor where overtime rules in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) may not apply. The current floor is $24,000 a year. Anyone getting lower pay than this is automatically covered by the FSLA overtime provisions.
Puzder is concerned that many of his branch managers will be covered by the FSLA overtime rules under the new floor that Obama will set. He tells readers that his managers start at around $36,000 a year and as high as $65,000, with an average around $45,000.
If the minimum wage had kept pace with economy-wide productivity growth since 1968 it would be over $17 an hour today. This means that, at $18 an hour, Hardee's entry level pay for the people it calls managers would be just slightly above a productivity adjusted minimum wage. And this calculation assumes that it managers put in just 40 hours a week. If they typically put in more hours than they would likely be earning less than 1968 minimum wage, adjusted for productivity growth.