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Employers React to Minimum Wage Hike

EUGENE, Ore. — Not everyone is thrilled about Oregon’s minimum wage hike.

Some businesses owners say this affects their side of the bargain.

This is something business owners here in Oregon see every year, but they say they never know how much it’s going to be, and each year minimum wage goes up, they have to find new ways to compensate.

Smaller businesses say it doesn’t end up affecting them too much because they have a smaller number of employees, but for restaurants or local chains, that 15 cents an hour can really add up.

They find the mandated wage increase means either raising merchandise prices or cutting employee hours, which means those minimum-wage workers don’t end up making any more money.

“We just try to figure out where we can cut hours, where we don’t need people. We try to reduce our prep time in the morning, so the staff comes in a bit later. We try and close earlier,” said Dairy Queen restaurant owner Chris Bothman.

A lot of business owners pay long-time employees more per hour than beginners, which means when minimum wage goes up, they have to raise everyone’s pay, not just those on the bottom tier.

The wage increase will go into effect in January, which gives business owners just fewer than three months to figure out how they’re going to afford the hike.

3 comments

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  1. Becca says:

    “A lot of business owners pay long-time employees more per hour than beginners, which means when minimum wage goes up, they have to raise everyone’s pay, not just those on the bottom tier.”

    Lol. What businesses do this? None that I’ve heard of.

    1. ANNA KEENAN says:

      walmart does this actually, they start you out based on your experience and the department you are going in to.

    2. KEZI Staff says:

      Just an example, but Starbucks has been doing this for decades. They start out new employees over minimum wage and give automatic raises every six months. It’s a fairly common retention strategy to reduce turnover.

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