The 19th: Florida passes $15 minimum wage, a hike that could narrow the gender pay gap

By Chabeli Carrazana
The 19th, Nov 3, 2020

In a year of unprecedented job loss for the nation’s low-wage workforce, Floridians voted to offer some relief in the form of a pay raise. 

A constitutional amendment on the ballot to raise Florida’s hourly minimum wage from $8.56 today to $15 in 2026 passed with 61 percent of the vote ...

Other businesses say paying workers above minimum wage has other benefits, including improved retention rates and productivity. 

At Love Life Cafe in Miami, co-owner Veronica Menin said she pays her entry-level dishwashers $12 an hour and pay goes up from there for servers, plus tips. The business, which employs about 40 people, has saved on hiring and training costs by offering more competitive pay. 

“We couldn’t possibly live with the fact that we are increasing our profits and our staff is still barely making a living and still struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month,” Menin said. 

And while she said she understands the concerns other businesses have about higher costs, Menin said business costs have already been going up and companies like hers have had to adjust. The tiered nature of the minimum wage increase will give business owners time to prepare for the hike, she said. ...

When the amendment passed on Tuesday, Menin said it felt like a moment of optimism in an otherwise dark year. 

“It’s about doing the right thing for those who deserve to be treated right,” Menin said. “We need to stop just thinking with our pockets and start thinking as a whole.”

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Copyright 2020 The 19th

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