Law360: Dems' $15 Minimum Wage Push Tees Up Pitched Battle

By Braden Campbell
Law360, Jan 15, 2019

Congressional Democrats are planning to introduce legislation Wednesday that would gradually lift the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024, setting the stage for what could be a protracted battle over where the national wage floor should be. ...

Although groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business have previously opposed a $15 minimum wage, others in the business community are in favor. Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president at Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a business coalition that backs the plan, argued it would benefit small-business owners by boosting their local economies. If workers earn more money, they have more money to spend on goods and services, Barron-Menza said.

And though their payrolls will rise along with any hike in the minimum wage, businesses may see training and onboarding costs drop as their better-paid workers stay longer, she said. These more experienced workers may also provide better service, further adding to the bottom line, she added. And businesses will have time to acclimate to the change.

“Sometimes there’s this knee-jerk reaction, that we’re talking $15 now,” she said. “We’re talking about $15 gradually, phased in over many years, and businesses are adept at planning and adapting to changing conditions.” ...

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