Anyone trying to make a living earning a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour knows that it is not enough to make ends meet. Economists warn about the negative consequences of increasing the minimum wage, including layoffs and higher costs at the register. Wages are only part of the benefits guaranteed to workers by a myriad of federal and state supplemental laws. There are requirements for benefits, including paid leave, health benefits, and Workers’ Compensation insurance that leave employers struggling to maintain a profit while satisfying all the requirements.
At the same time, mounting pressure has been placed on service worker employers to address the low wage concerns raised by their employees, organized labor, and the public-at-large. A few years ago, the Service Employees International Union began the Fight for $15 campaign. It is a nationwide effort to organize fast food workers and have laws passed to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour nationwide.
The McDonald’s Pledge
After the Fight for $15 campaign began, the Chief Executive Officer of McDonald’s decided to address the wage concerns. He announced that McDonald’s would pay $1 an hour above the local minimum wage at its restaurants. The announcement only included the 1,500 corporate owned restaurants. It excluded most of its restaurants that are franchise-owned.
Since the announcement, several local wage laws have been changed to increase the minimum wage. However, it appears that employees have lost the $1 per hour advantage. The Fight for $15 campaign has obtained pay stubs for McDonald’s employees in eight cities. All their hourly rates were less than the $1 over local minimums that McDonald’s announced. One employee working in Chicago, where a local ordinance mandates an $11 minimum wage, now earns $11.40 per hour.
Was it Just a Publicity Stunt?
Fight for $15 claims that the earlier announcement was a publicity stunt by McDonald’s. Not only did it fail to cover most restaurants, the increase has not kept up with local laws requiring higher minimum wages. One member working for McDonald’s agrees, stating McDonald’s continues to drive a race to the bottom instead of delivering raises.
McDonald’s’ original announcement did not say whether the raise was for the current year or included future years. To protect the company’s image, the company’s efforts include an expanded benefits package that includes paid time off and tuition assistance. The company needs to work hard through training and development to retain its workers.
It is unclear whether the minimum will be raised to $15 nationally. Businesses like McDonald’s are facing record-high turnover as workers leave for better jobs in a tightening labor market while the Fight for $15 campaign continues to make progress.
Cherry Hill Wage Dispute Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for Fair Wages for Employees
Our experienced employment lawyers can help you sort through the federal, state, and local laws on minimum wage and other employer matters. If you have been wronged by your employer, contact a Cherry Hill wage dispute lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. by calling 215-569-1999 or submit an online contact form for a free, confidential consultation today. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients from the surrounding areas.