Nevada Independent: Peter Frigeri: Sandoval must give Nevada workers a raise

Op-Ed By Peter Frigeri
Nevada Independent, May 25, 2017

As Nevada’s legislative session winds down, lawmakers are trying to send to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s desk several progressive economic measures including an increase in the minimum wage to $12 an hour and new equal pay protections for working women. With polls showing strong public support for higher wages, Gov. Sandoval may soon get to show the voters which side he’s on: whether he stands with struggling working Nevadans – or with special interests who don’t want to have to pay their workers a penny more.

While some corporate lobbyists oppose such reforms, the reality is that worker protections such as raising the minimum wage and ensuring that women and men are paid equally not only benefit workers, but also promote business success. That is why a majority of business owners throughout the country support these policies and many are implementing them on their own.

As the owner of a successful small business, I can speak to this first hand. ...

These policies also help employers attract and retain top talent, particularly in a tight labor market, and gain a competitive edge. Savvy employers know this, and many are raising pay and implementing equal pay practices on their own – businesses such as Earth Friendly Products in neighboring California and Internet Truck Stop in Idaho are raising their minimum pay well above currently mandated wage floors, and others like Accenture and Work & Co. are taking steps to advance equal pay and diversify their workforce.

Both policies also promote a stable workforce, improve productivity, decrease the high costs of turnover, and create the conditions that help businesses thrive and create more jobs. Higher pay for the lowest paid workers also keeps money circulating in the economy, as low-income workers spend most of their additional earnings at local businesses. ...

Both the minimum wage and pay equity, thus, promote a virtuous cycle that benefit workers, businesses and the economy. ...

Peter Frigeri is owner of Gaia Plants and Gifts, a downtown Las Vegas business.

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Copyright 2017 Peter Frigeri


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