Impact on tipped, workers, retail industry
June 13 News Release
Reaction to Downtown Crossing Rally Supporting Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative
Impact on retail shops would be devastating
BOSTON (June 12, 2018): In response to today’s rally in Downtown Crossing regarding a $15 an hour minimum wage ballot initiative and premium pay for Sundays and holidays, the following statements may be attributed to NFIB’s Massachusetts State Director, Christopher Carlozzi:
“Massachusetts time-and-a-half pay for retail employees on Sundays and holidays is an outlier. Only one other state, Rhode Island, has this outdated remnant of the Blue Laws,” said Christopher Carlozzi, NFIB’s State Director in Massachusetts. “If a $15 minimum wage becomes a reality, Main Street retailers will be paying a $22.50 an hour minimum wage on Sundays and holidays. Many retail shop owners are going to think twice about whether it is worth opening their doors on a Sunday. That will result in fewer shifts for those who work weekends, most notably younger workers.“
The minimum wage ballot initiative calls for an increase to $15 per hour in 2022. Then, the wage continues to rise based on inflation. The Massachusetts Senate Retail Task Force, which sought public comments from small business owner across the state, noted the following in their final report regarding premium Sunday and holiday pay:
“Sunday and holiday premium pay was also a top concern amongst retailers. Two states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, currently require premium pay for retailers operating on Sundays or holidays. The retail sector is the only industry subject to these requirements.
In today’s environment, retailers stated that these Blue Laws impose a significant burden on Massachusetts businesses and provide another competitive advantage to remote sellers, which are exempt from premium pay requirements. Retailers testified that they would have to limit employees’ hours on Sundays and holidays, or close on those days altogether to afford both a $15 minimum wage and premium pay wages.”
Senate Retail Task Force Report – May 30, 2018
June 12 News Release:
Reaction to Rally at State House Supporting Minimum Wage Ballot Initiative as it Relates to Tipped Workers
BOSTON (June 12, 2018): In response to today’s rally at the State House regarding a $15 an hour minimum wage ballot initiative, and a higher wage floor for tipped workers, the following statements may be attributed to NFIB’s Massachusetts State Director, Christopher Carlozzi:
“It is important to note that increasing the tipped wage doesn’t just impact restaurant owners but has unintended consequences for servers too,” said Christopher Carlozzi, NFIB’s State Director in Massachusetts. “When the tipped wage was phased-out in Maine following a ballot referendum, the result was fewer tips and less take-home pay for restaurant workers. Servers flooded Maine legislative hearing rooms demanding the tipped wage be reinstated to restore the higher income workers received before their so-called pay raises.”
The minimum wage ballot initiative calls for a gradual increase of the tipped wage to $9 per hour by 2022. After that, it would increase based on inflation. Researchers at Harvard University Business School and Mathematica Policy Research released a 2017 study that concluded minimum wage increases play a role in restaurant closures. They argue that with a one dollar increase in the minimum wage, moderately-priced, median-rated restaurants have a 14-percent increase in the likelihood of closure.