The Push For Higher Pay For Retail Workers Continues

Time card imageIf you’re a business owner, then you know that there is no law requiring you to pay your workers time-and-a-half or double time if they work on a holiday. Some businesses do it as a matter of company policy, and union employees generally have it written into their work contracts, but most workers get only their regular pay if they work on holidays.

For most small businesses, this situation suits them just fine. They don’t feel like they can afford to pay any more money to their employees.

But there are efforts underway to make it mandatory for all employers to pay double or even triple an employee’s hourly rate if the employee is required to work on a federal holiday.

In California, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, has stated that she intends to introduce a bill that would guarantee double time if any full-time or part-time employee has to work on a holiday.

In Ohio, state delegate Mike Foley, a Democrat, is taking it further. He’s introduced a bill that would require all retail stores to pay their employees triple time if they have to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Other bills with similar language are percolating in different states. Additionally, there are bills pending in some states that would ban major retail stores and grocery stores from opening at all on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

It’s all part of the push for better pay for retail workers, which includes the national fight for a higher minimum wage, intertwined with the desire by lawmakers to look out for the families of low-wage workers.

Ground Zero for the push for a higher minimum wage has got to be California, and the epicenter of that movement is San Francisco. By 2018, due to legislation passed earlier this year, the minimum wage for employees of businesses within the city limits of San Francisco will be $15 an hour. The rumblings of these initiatives are being felt in the rest of the nation as many business owners are looking apprehensively to the west, and hoping that those big increases in the minimum wage don’t start working their way eastward.

We’ll keep you posted.


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