Boston Globe: Business owners take on $15 minimum wage, paid leave

By Katie Johnston
Boston Globe, April 10, 2018

Small business owners grappling with proposals to raise the minimum wage and mandate paid leave expressed their frustrations to business leaders and state lawmakers Tuesday morning ... At issue are bills to raise the state minimum wage from $11 to $15 an hour, and the tipped minimum wage from $3.75 to $9, by 2022, and require businesses to give employees up to 16 weeks of paid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child and up to 26 weeks of paid medical leave for serious injuries or illnesses. If lawmakers fail to act, the measures will go before voters in the fall. ...

Raise Up Massachusetts, the coalition of labor, religious, and community organizations behind the previous wage hike and paid sick leave law, is leading the charge on a $15 minimum and paid family leave, and has collected enough signatures to put the issue to voters. ... “At the end of the day, we don’t hold the cards. They do,” said Senator Jason Lewis, a Democrat and chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee.

A number of business owners are in favor of a $15 minimum wage, including more than 250 around the state who have signed a Massachusetts Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement. Higher wages lead to more consumer buying power, which leads to job creation, the statement notes; higher wages also mean lower turnover, reduced training costs, and increased productivity. ...

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