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Some businesses worried by push for higher minimum wage

4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago Thursday, April 25 2019 Apr 25, 2019 April 25, 2019 7:10 PM April 25, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Owner of Tiger Deauxnuts, Jeff Herman says he's never been weary about giving his employees more dough.

"Pretty much from the start I've always decided that I wanted to pay my employees a little bit more than what the minimum wage was anyway," said Herman.

Herman pays his cashiers and kitchen staff around $10 an hour because he says it's good for business.

"As I was a minimum wage employee when i was working low-skill jobs, it just was frustrating to make that and I realized that finding and maintaining good people is easier when you start them at a rate where they feel respected."

In the last few years, there's been a push from local lawmakers to make employers operate like Jeff by raising the minimum wage. This year to $9.

"Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what the minimum wage is anymore because I haven't dealt with it in so long, " said Herman.

Right now its $7.25, the federal standard, which works out to about a 14,000 dollar a year salary for a full-time employee. 

But many others are worried they couldn't afford to pay more than the required minimum as any increase could put them out of business... or having to get rid of employees. 

"This legislation is a one-size-fits-all approach that essentially means all businesses would have to comply and not all businesses would be able to," said Jim Patterson, LABI.

"Our research foundation estimates a total net loss of 36,000 jobs in Louisiana if this legislation passes," said Dawn Starnes, NFIB.

The proposal made it through committee on thursday and advanced to a discussion on the senate floor. That debate is coming up in a few days.

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