0702 GMT January 19, 2020
The protesters were fast-food workers, as well as airport, construction, education and child care staff.
New York City was one of the main locations of the protests on Wednesday.
One demonstration was held outside a McDonald's outlet. Crowds in Brooklyn blocked traffic and organizers lay on the pavement outside a McDonald's restaurant in Manhattan.
The protesters chanted, "This is what democracy looks like," and waved "Fight for $15" and "Imagine Justice" signs.
The demonstrations were also held in Chicago, San Francisco, St. Louis, Olympia, Pasco, Yakima, Moses Lake and Philadelphia.
The rally was the largest-ever mobilization of American workers seeking higher pay, according to organizers.
"It's something different," Kendall Fells, organizing director of Fight for $15, said. "This is much more of an economic and racial justice movement than the fast-food workers strikes of the past two years."
McDonald's cashier Jorge Math, who makes $8.75 per hour, said the fast-food workers deserve more wages.
"We are the backbones of these fast-food restaurants, and I believe that we should be more rewarded," Math said. "Most of us have to get a second job so we can sustain ourselves."
In the United States, Washington has the highest minimum wage of any state at $9.47 per hour.
During his State of the Union address last year, President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. However, the US president has faced strong Republican opposition.