Wages Again Heading to the Ballot

In the wake of public hearings being held last week up in Portland Maine, the Portland City Council voted to approve a ballot measure raising the minimum wage within Maine’s largest city and put it before the voters this November. The initiative would raise the current minimum waged of $13 per hour to $18 an…

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Municipal Minimum Wage Changes

Speaking of Maine, the state’s biggest city, Portland is facing a ballot question in November that could establish a local minimum wage of $18 per hour and at the same time eliminate the tip credit for workers within Portland. The state chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has filed the requisite paperwork to phase…

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Portland Rethinks, Repeals Hazard Pay

Just days after it took effect, the Portland City Council effectively voted to end the new hazard pay ordinance that pushed minimum wages to $19.50 an hour! By a vote of 8-1 on January 3, the council ended the state of emergency that the city had declared back on March 16, 2020 and in exchange,…

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Additional News on Wages

As if the ongoing labor shortages coupled with these dramatic increases in minimum wages weren’t having a big enough impact on businesses still struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic, some communities are piling on with additional mandates for business beginning tomorrow. A perfect case in point is the city of Portland Maine, where the…

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Maine Court Blesses Hazard Pay

The Supreme Judicial Court in the state of Maine has unanimously approved a voter-initiated law that requires employers in Portland, the state’s largest city, to pay employees hazard wages equal to time and a half for any work performed during a declared state of emergency within the city. Disputes arose immediately after 62% of Portland…

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Different Directions on Minimum Wages

As we anticipate another run by progressives in Congress at a federal $15 minimum wage, it’s reported that a group of moderate Senators – led by Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) are working on bipartisan legislation that would increase the federal minimum over the next four years from the current $7.25 to $10…

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Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers

If as the old sayings go, Orange is the new Black, and 50 is the new 40, then hazard pay for ‘frontline workers’ is the new paid sick leave. Currently the benefit – between $4 and $5 more an hour – is mostly limited to grocery workers, but some have already talked about the need…

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Election Results They Did Call

While the results of the presidential will not be known, let alone certified for quite some time, such delays are not the case in a host of ballot question issues from around the country. Perhaps having the greatest immediate impact on businesses, Amendment 2 was passed by Florida voters with a 61% plurality (the constitutional…

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Minimum Wages Amid Coronavirus

One could rightly conclude that the middle of a severe economic downturn resulting from a widespread global pandemic would not be a good time to consider increasing a state or local community’s minimum wage. But that wisdom apparently doesn’t hold with some in Portland Maine. Aside from the presidential decision on November 3, voters in…

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Elections Have Consequences

In most states, elections were held earlier this week and we want to just touch on a couple of results as they may become relevant to business issues in the future. First off, up in Portland Maine, incumbent progressive Mayor Ethan Strimling was eliminated before the final round in the ranked-choice local election. He defined…

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