A bill touted as a job-creation bill that would increase the minimum wage and require mandatory paid sick leave, along with other regulations, was introduced in the Senate. The legislation was proposed on March 29, 2012 by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) who is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
The wide-ranging bill includes provisions dealing with overtime pay protection, the minimum wage, employment for disabled workers, worker misclassification, paid sick leave, and pension protection. The measure is still awaiting a bill number.
The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to increase the federal minimum wage to $8.10 an hour in the first year of enactment and to $9.80 in the second year. The wage would be indexed to inflation starting with the third year. The minimum wage rate now is $7.25 an hour and was last increased by Congressional action in 2009.
Restaurant owners should also note that under the bill, the FLSA also would be amended to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers to $3 per hour for the first year of enactment, and an additional 85 cents each year thereafter until the wage equals 70 percent of the federal minimum wage. The current minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13.
The Advi$or has to admit that it does not quite understand how this kind of legislation, which is going to increase the cost of doing business for many businesses, is going to help create jobs.