Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report: Wage Hike, Paid Leave One Step Closer to Massachusetts Ballot

By Aaron Nicodemus
Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, Dec 6, 2017

Questions over whether to raise the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15 per hour and establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program are one step closer to appearing on the state’s 2018 ballot. Raise Up Massachusetts submitted 139,055 signatures to Secretary of State William Galvin (D) for the minimum wage ballot question and 135,597 signatures for a ballot question on establishing a paid family and medical leave insurance program, the group said at a news conference ... The minimum wage ballot question asks voters if they would like the state’s minimum wage of $11 per hour to increase by $1 per year, starting Jan. 1. 2019, until it reaches $15 per hour in January 2022. ...

‘Happier Employees’ Versus ‘Uncertainty’

Proponents of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour say it would benefit their businesses as well as their employees, but others say it is too much, too fast.

Michael Kanter is co-owner of Cambridge Naturals, a health food and supplement store, and he is a member of the advocacy group Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. Cambridge Naturals, which has 22 employees and four employee-owners, started paying all of its employees at least $15 per hour in November 2016.

“We’ve had less employee turnover, and we’ve had happier employees,” Kanter told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 5. “It’s been good for our business, and good for the staff.” He said he has used the fact he is paying his employees a living wage as a marketing tool for his business. ...

Copyright 2017 Bureau of National Affairs


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