BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The New Year brings a pay raise to thousands of the Maryland’s minimum wage workers.
Derek Valcourt has more on the increase and what it means to businesses and its workers.
Effective Jan. 1, the Maryland’s minimum wage workers got a 75 cents an hour increase and another raise is on the way.
From restaurants to retailers, minimum wage employees will see more in their paychecks including people like, Jade Anderson.
“I’ve been a cashier for 20 plus years, so it will impact me and my family so it’s good news,” Anderson said.
Maryland joins 23 other states in raising the minimum wage in 2015. Effective Jan. 1, minimum wage up from $7.25 to $8 an hour.
Later this year, it’ll go up another 25 cents. Next year, to $8.75 then to $9.25 and by July 1, 2018, minimum wage will hit $10.10 an hour.
“It’s a partial victory,” Sharon Black with People’s Power Assembly said.
Advocates says it’s short of the $15 an hour minimum many wanted, but the 75 cents an hour raise now does bring some immediate relief.
“That’s approximately $30 extra a week so for some people who are literally living on the edge of pay check to pay check, that’s a lot of money for folks.
It’s a lot of money to businesses too. Many say their customers may end up paying more.
“I’m more than happy,” The Great Cookie president, Jason Fruman said. “We’ll call it to reward the employees because they deserve it, but at the same time it’s a major hit to the bottom line so the cost has to come from somewhere.”
“We will lose money,” Dave Norman with DAVCO restaurants said.
Norman is preside of a company that owes more than 100 Wendy’s. He tells WJZ the increase could eventually force them to close some locations.
“With every cost increase, every time the minimum wage goes up, we’ll lose more money and we’ll shut more restaurants,” Norman said.
But for now, many minimum wage works glad they’ll reap the benefits.
Workers that earn tips in their jobs, for example waiters and waitresses, were not included as part of the state’s minimum wage increase.
Advocates also wanted minimum wage to be indexed to keep up with the rising cost of living, but that proposal was also eliminated from the bill they eventually passed.
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