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It’s official: our nation’s capital has approved a $15 minimum wage. The D.C. Council’s decision was unanimous, and the plan is expected to pass the final vote and be signed into law by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
The District’s hourly minimum, now $10.50, would rise to $15 by 2020. After that, annual increases would be automatic and tied to inflation, as unions have wanted. But to assuage the District’s powerful restaurant-industry lobby, D.C. lawmakers have demanded that tipped workers’ pay rise by a smaller amount.
Tipped workers’ base rate would increase from $2.77 an hour to $5 an hour and would be tied to inflation. Employers in the District would also remain responsible for paying employees the difference between their base pay and minimum wage if tips do not make up the balance.
Say hello to higher wages, and goodbye to jobs.
The minimum wage destroys entry level jobs. Government cannot expect to significantly increase labor costs for small businesses without any unintended consequences (and yet they manage to act surprised every time….).
Not only do mandated wage hikes increase the cost of goods and services, they force employers to eliminate job positions in order to keep costs down. Who gets hurt the most? Under-educated workers and low income communities.
Washington, D.C. in particular has been struggling to keep entry level jobs from disappearing. The Washington Free Beacon writes:
Nearly half of Washington, D.C. employers said they have either laid off employees or reduced the hours of employees to adapt to the District of Columbia’s minimum wage hikes since 2014, according to a report from the Employment Policies Institute.
The minimum wage in the District of Columbia has increased from a $8.25 hourly rate in 2014 to the current rate of $11.50 per hour. Mayor Muriel Bowser advocated a $15 minimum wage in her State of the District address earlier this year.
Once again, the “Fight For Fifteen” movement bullied progressive city officials into passing feel-good policies that hurt the very people they claimed to protect.