Saturday, June 02, 2007

Continued Wage Law Perils

They still haven't figured out how to deal with the consequences of the new minimum wage law here in Arizona. The problem first came to light back in January.

One of the Valley's largest work centers for people with disabilities is still up and running, and nearly 100 employees furloughed this year are back at work.

But the Centers for Habilitation, based in Tempe, is operating apprehensively.

If the Legislature doesn't step in before the session ends in a few weeks and create an exemption to the new state minimum wage law that allows lower wages to disabled employees, as many as 70 TCH workers could lose their jobs permanently. And in the meantime, the 40-year-old non-profit fears it could be vulnerable to lawsuits...

Raising the salaries of subminimum-wage employees to the full minimum wage would cost TCH an estimated $425,000 more annually, according to the organization, more than half of the non-profit's current payroll of $775,000...

If something isn't done this session, the majority of those 90 individuals, probably 70 of those men and women, could be put out of a work activity because we simply can't afford to subsidize at that level."

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Blogger said...

We have the same problem. We hire hundreds of retired workers to manage campgrounds, many in the 70s and even 80s. They are happy to take minimum wage, so we have been able to live with their slower work pace and lower productivity (not to mention higher workers comp. costs). As minimum wages go up, though, it is harder and harder to justify hiring these folks instead of younger, more active, faster working employees.

June 12, 2007 at 11:22:00 AM MST  

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