Minimum Wage… Get real, but get ready

First, the fiasco in Chicago was averted — we should all stand and cheer.

For those living on Pluto (the new “non’-planet), Chicago attempted to vote in a “big box” minimum wage, a wage higher than what all other employers must pay, as a penalty for simply “being” a big box retailer.

Mayor Dailey vetoed the bill — his first such veto in his million years in office. Smart man.

Having said that, and against my personal beliefs and desires, minimum wage is going to change from its paltry $5.15 per hour. 10 states have enacted minimum wage laws in 2006 alone, making their state’s minimum wage some level above the Fed’s. That brings to 23 the total number of states with such legislation, and another 6 states have pending legislation awaiting November voting.

You can bet that all, or most, will pass.

Make sure you prepare accordingly, as minimum wage adjustments — particularly significant adjustments — impact more than just your unskilled entry workers. Minimum wage tends to be the benchmark by which other positions base their rates. In other words, you’ll likely face the need to adjust the rate ranges for multiple low and semi-skilled positions within your organziation.


Kevin Berchelmann

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