California, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, Payroll

5 Cities and States to Watch as Minimum Wage Debates Continue

Minimum wage increases are a fact of life that many – if not most – employers in America must realize. However, the debates continue on this subject in many states across the country. Let’s look at 5 states and cities undergoing these very debates. Read on…

wage debateNevada Minimum-Wage Increase Debate 
A proposed increase in Nevada would raise the minimum hourly wage to $12 an hour by 2022. If passed, it would have to be approved by voters in 2020. Ruben Murillo, president of the Nevada State Education Association, supports the bill. He said if parents don’t earn a living wage, it affects their children’s academic performance. However, Randi Thompson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the move would hurt small businesses, which make up 98 percent of employers in the state. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Illinois Lawmakers Consider Statewide Minimum Wage Increase and Tax Credit for Employers
An Illinois bill introduced by Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, would raise the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $15 by 2022. Too buffer the impact, small businesses would be eligible for a new tax credit. Chicago has already approved an incremental increase to $13 an hour by 2019. Business groups say too much regulation has already made Chicago a less attractive place for companies to do business. These groups believe raising the Illinois minimum wage to a level higher than in neighboring states will increase economic challenges for Illinois employers. (Chicago Tribune)

St. Louis Wins Wage Increase After Court Battle 
St. Louis’s $10 minimum wage took effect on May 5 after the Missouri Supreme Court approved the measure. The increase was debated, especially since the rest of the state has a $7.70 minimum wage and employers in neighboring Illinois can pay workers $8.25 an hour (at least for now). The St. Louis ordinance calls for another increase to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018. The city’s wage hike doesn’t apply to businesses that gross under $500,000 a year or to employers with fewer than 15 workers. It also doesn’t apply to employees who work less than 20 hours per calendar year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) (St. Louis Business Journal)

Maine Lawmakers Attempt to Rescind a Portion of New Wage Law
Some Maine lawmakers want to make a change to a voter-approved measure, which will raise the minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $12 an hour by 2020. The measure calls for tipped employees’ pay to reach the minimum wage by 2024 (tipped employees in Maine currently can be paid $5 an hour). On May 10th, a state legislative committee voted 11-2 to recommend that employers retain the right to pay less than the standard minimum wage to employees who make up the difference in tips. Democratic Rep. Ryan Fecteau said “hundreds of servers” testified that they were concerned about the economic impact this portion of the wage law would have on restaurants. (U.S. News & World Report)

San Francisco Wage Hikes May Eliminate Some Low-Quality Restaurants
Mathematica Policy Research and the Harvard Business School found that increases to the minimum wage may negatively impact restaurants with lower service ratings more than those with more positive reviews. A study that was sponsored Yelp analyzed data from more than 30,000 restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area. The results showed that higher wage mandates may speed up an unsuccessful restaurant’s demise but may not hurt a successful business. “If anything, the study shows that a higher minimum wage might make the market more competitive and reduce the number of poor performers,” said Paul Sonn, general counsel and program director at the National Employment Law Project. “Some firms are better at adjusting to competitive pressure than others.” (The Washington Post)

Until Next Time, Be Audit Secure!

Lisa Smith



Lisa Smith is CEO of Andere Development, LLC and Chief Content Developer at BeAuditSecure.com. Follow her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, listen to her Small Business Spoonfuls Podcast, and find more from her in Audit-Secure Assistant at BeAuditSecure.com.

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