Thursday, October 15, 2009

Colorado minimum wage set to fall next year

By George, someone in Colorado took an economics course! One doesn't raise the minimum wage when unemployement rate is increasing. Will someone please tell that to those clown in Sacramento! And Washington D.C.!

From Nation's Restaurant News
By Alan J. Liddle

DENVER (Oct. 14, 2009) Colorado restaurateurs and other employers may reduce the pay of non-tipped minimum-wage employees by three pennies an hour and pay tipped workers four cents less beginning Jan. 1, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
The wage reduction is based on a state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2006 that calls for the minimum wage to be adjusted annually based on changes in the cost of living. Until now, inflation has pushed Colorado’s pay floor higher, but that is about to change.
Colorado’s pending wage decrease is believed to be the first among the 10 states that have mechanisms to adjust minimum-wage rates annually based on inflation indexes. The other states with such mechanisms are Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

According to a recent Colorado Department of Labor and Employment notice, beginning Jan. 1, the state’s minimum wage will decrease from $7.28 an hour to $7.24 for non-tipped employees and from $4.26 an hour to $4.22 for workers receiving gratuities. While most employers will have to at least meet the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for non-tipped workers, they may take the full four-cent reduction for employees who receive gratuities because the federal pay floor for individuals who receive tips, $2.13 an hour, is lower than Colorado’s rate.

The Colorado reduction is based on a 0.6-pecent reduction in the Denver-Boulder-Greeley Consumer Price Index between the first half of 2008 and the first half of 2009.
A call to Colorado Restaurant Association officials for comment was not returned by press time. The CRA opposed the wage-indexing amendment when it was put before voters.
Peter Meersman, chief executive and president of the CRA, told the Denver Post that his group will not make a recommendation to members related to maintaining or reducing wages.
Some advocacy groups for the working poor have urged employers not to take the reduction.
A hearing to allow public comment about the proposed order to lower the wage in accordance with the inflation-adjuster mechanism is set for Nov. 6 in Division of Labor chambers in Denver.

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