Whopping increase proposed even before earlier wage hikes fully implemented
PROVIDENCE (March 15, 2018) – In response to today’s House Labor Committee hearing considering several proposals to increase the minimum wage, the following statements can be attributed to National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Rhode Island State Director, Christopher Carlozzi:
“The small business community is extremely concerned by the possibility of another series of minimum wage increases in Rhode Island.”
“The latest two-year wage increase isn’t fully implemented until January of 2019, yet advocates want to push for a whopping $15 per hour, making Rhode Island the state with the highest minimum wage in New England. Small businesses, in particular, will be devastated by these ever-increasing labor costs.
“Small business owners in Rhode Island already face high energy costs, double-digit health care premium increases, and a new mandatory paid sick leave law. Adding additional labor costs will only lead to reductions in hours, staff and economic activity. That hurts the employees this proposal is intended to help.
“Studies have shown that areas of the country with a $15 minimum wage saw reduced hours, and job losses, leaving fewer opportunities for inexperienced and younger workers. Rhode Island’s experience with a $15 minimum wage will be no different.
“NFIB is strongly opposed to yet another increase in the state minimum wage on Rhode Island small businesses who struggle to keep their doors open amid ever-increasing labor costs.”