The convoluted idea that unilaterally raising the minimum wage is the key to fighting poverty has frustratingly grown in popularity over recent years. Despite the fact that a tiny percentage of workers actually provide for their families with the income from these low-wage jobs, leftists contend that employers should be forced to raise their base rate by 40 percent or more.
Though that would obviously cause widespread layoffs and closures by businesses whose margins are already razor thin, voters in some places have jumped on board the absurd concept, basically signing their own pink slips by supporting such measures.
One Washington airport community enacted the nation’s highest minimum wage – $15 per hour – earlier this year; and, unsurprisingly, employers are reacting negatively. The SeaTac initiative faced one major obstacle already when a court ruling determined that wages for the airport’s direct employees were not bound by the new law. Recently, many of the other employers in the town have been looking for ways to avoid the disastrous requirement.
A recent protest by four former employees of a parking company attracted a small group of like-minded activists who were upset by the business’ firings. Furthermore, they complained that the employer refused to pay all employees the astronomical new minimum hourly wage.
This incident has sparked the first lawsuit resulting from the new law, though there is plenty of uncertainty regarding which businesses are actually required to comply. A local report indicates that the city of SeaTac did not release a list of employers bound by the new wage floor; so at this point, it seems to be up to individual businesses to interpret the scope of the legislation.
The city manager explained that Extra Car believes “that the ordinance does not apply to them” and that the city is “having a dialogue with them about whether or not that’s the case.”
As with many leftist initiatives, there appears to be significant uncertainty regarding its implementation. Nevertheless, its mere existence puts employers on the defensive, forced to give their staff outrageous – and unearned – raises or fight the new mandate with the city or in court.
–B. Christopher Agee
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