Beginning July 24, minimum wage workers throughout the nation should see an increase in their paychecks.

Workers should see a 70-cent increase in their hourly wage, bringing that wage to $6.55, said Ray Andrews, director of the Employment Standards Division of the Oklahoma Department of Labor.

“Workers need to make a note of it,” he said. “On July 25, they should start watching their paychecks to see if their employer is aware.”

To report violations, Andrews said workers can find free assistance at the state level by contacting the state labor office at 1-888-269-5353.

However, they should be aware that there are certain types of workers who are not covered by minimum wage laws, Andrews said, noting that these exemptions include certain amusement park workers, farm workers, news paper delivery personnel, and casual baby sitters.

More exemptions are listed on the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website at www.dol.gov.

More information about the increase can also be obtained by calling 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).

The 70-cent increase is the second phase of a three-phase increase, which according to the DOL website was approved by Congress in 2007.

The first phase, which raised minimum wage to the current rate of $5.85 an hour, went into effect on July 24, 2007 and the third phase, which will raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, will go into effect on July 24, 2009, Andrews said.