Archive for Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kansas’ minimum wage to change from $2.65 to $7.25 on Jan. 1

April 23, 2009

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— The lowest state minimum wage in the country is about to become history.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Thursday signed into law a bill that on Jan. 1 will increase the Kansas state minimum wage of $2.65 per hour to the federal minimum wage, which will be $7.25 per hour.

Calling the increase long overdue, Sebelius added, “While the state minimum wage only applies to a small sector of Kansas’ work force, to them and their families, this legislation is critically important.

“Our economy must return to its core principle that an honest day’s work brings home an honest day’s pay, and today we’re taking a step in that direction.”

Democrats have long fought for an increase in the state minimum wage, but had been stymied by the Kansas Chamber and Republicans, who control the Legislature.

This year, however, several Republican legislators said they were tired of being criticized for the $2.65 per hour minimum and pushed, along with Democrats and fair-wage advocates, for the increase.

House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence said the increase was needed to help families and the economy.

“If we want to recover from these difficult times and help Kansans move themselves out of poverty, we must start by guaranteeing a wage that dignifies work,” Davis said.

State Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, was a sponsor of the bill calling for an increase.

Labor officials said about 19,000 Kansans were making below the federal minimum wage. Companies that have less than $500,000 a year in annual revenue and don’t engage in interstate commerce are exempt from the federal level.

The $2.65 per hour Kansas state minimum wage is the lowest of 45 states that have a state minimum and hasn’t been increased since 1988.

Comments

mom_of_three 6 years, 3 months ago

does this mean that waitstaff, who made the minimum will get a raise and not depend on tips??

otto 6 years, 3 months ago

jackbinkelman (Anonymous) says…

Waitstaff remember poor tippers


Customers remember lousy service and don't go back. If you are a waiter explain to the owner of the business that the customer is a lousy tipper and you are going to do a poor job and see what happens.

newsreader 6 years, 3 months ago

If only 45 states have a minimum wage, then we really are not the lowest... some states can pay people $0.01/hr hehe

KANSTUCKY 6 years, 3 months ago

Surely this will justify Lew's bonus.

dedicatedtomyjob 6 years, 3 months ago

so the rumors are true! yae!!!! ...... has it already gone into affect??? if so, then y am i stil working for less??

otto 6 years, 3 months ago

I think it's next Jan 1 - not last Jan 1. So dedicated you get to work for 2.65 an hour for awhile yet.

Boeing 6 years, 3 months ago

Waitstaff got, and will continue to get (I believe) $2.13, so tips will still be the norm.

hammysammy 6 years, 3 months ago

Wait staff will still make only 2.13. If most restaurants were required to pay minimum wage, people could expect to start paying a LOT more for their dinners...

Otto, most restaurant owners won't go out of their way to retain surly customers. If, however, you receive genuinely poor service it is entirely acceptable to let your tip reflect that. But your comments suggest that would be the only reason there are poor tippers, which is not the case. Some people are just cheap. And yes, some customers are just rude.

RonBurgandy 6 years, 3 months ago

I believe that waitstaff are not required to be paid the minimum wage, but it must average out to at least the minimum wage when you factor in tips.

Isn't that the case?

hammysammy 6 years, 3 months ago

It does average out, for sure. At least at all the places I've ever worked at. There are definitely days and evenings where it doesn't, but other ones that exceed minimum wage by far. That is why servers are required to pay taxes on a minimum percentage of their sales, usually exceeding at least 8%. So in some cases it is true that if they don't get tipped, they pay money to wait on the customers, especially when you factor in the usually required 2% payout to the busser and bartender, though this amount varies from place to place.

otto 6 years, 3 months ago

Hammy - I appreciate your comments but my comments were directly referring to

jackbinkelman (Anonymous) says…

Waitstaff remember poor tippers --

Which to me you would still try to a good job regardless. I understand that there are some trouble customers.

Vitruvian 6 years, 3 months ago

Minimum wage laws are criminal: they harm both workers and businesses.

otto 6 years, 3 months ago

What is an example of someone that is eligible for $2.65 and hour under the current law?

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

"Minimum wage laws are criminal: they harm both workers and businesses."

And we have a mathematical model to prove it.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 3 months ago

"fair-wage advocates" - Scott Rothschild

Jeez, Rothschild. Could you have used a more biased term? Who edits this guy's copy anyway? Perhaps "wage-manipulation advocates" would have been more accurate.

The next time readers think to criticize the ljworld's editorials for being too conservative, just remember that our city's newspaper employees more than a few biased commentators.

sizzleplate 6 years, 3 months ago

i think 6.25 is the correct minimum wage. For servers, the this still applies if they don't make at least this per hour including tips.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 3 months ago

The wage that an employer and an employee agree to is no business of the government's. Just as the government has no right to set the prices you pay for goods, it should have no right to set the wages a job-provider pays.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years, 3 months ago

Also, a fairer formula for whether an hourly wage will support a family or not is: Hourly Wage X 80 Hours Per Week =

Those of us who are paying the bulk of the cost of the nation's multiple unnecessary government programs (plus the costs of raising our own families) aren't working 40-hour work weeks! That would be a luxury. We're working 80, 90, or 100+ hours per week.

rabb 6 years, 3 months ago

SettingTheRecordStraight (Anonymous) says…

Those of us who are paying the bulk of the cost of the nation's multiple unnecessary government programs (plus the costs of raising our own families) aren't working 40-hour work weeks! That would be a luxury. We're working 80, 90, or 100+ hours per week.


Thank you for working so hard to pay for the bulk of unnecessary government programs. I'd heard that it was the top 1% of earners that pay the bulk of taxes in this country. I had no idea that that was you. Thanks again. You're a true patriot.

P.S. Sorry about the death tax. That's gonna hurt.

P.P.S. Working so many hours, how do you have time to post comments?

bretherite 6 years, 3 months ago

Wait staff should be paid the same as the rest. Most other states require wait staff to make federal minimum wage plus they get tips. The prices stay the same. In California I pay the same for a meal at On the Border (example) that I did in Kansas. I still tip 15% in both locations.For most wait staff tips have gone down because of the economy. So technically wait staffs salary has gone down.So why shouldn't wait staff get the same as anyone else? Wait staff have to tip share anyway so they make no where near minimum wage. I thought Kansas had finally moved to the 21st century. Wrong again. Love to know where you work Larry. My son makes no where near that as a waiter by the time he has to tip share.

staff04 6 years, 3 months ago

Ithink a lotof us forget that we don't live in a bubble. In my 'hood, median home values hoveraround $350K and middle-middle class families take home around $80K.

hammysammy 6 years, 3 months ago

bretherite (Anonymous) says…

"Wait staff should be paid the same as the rest. Most other states require wait staff to make federal minimum wage plus they get tips. The prices stay the same. In California I pay the same for a meal at On the Border (example) that I did in Kansas. I still tip 15% in both locations.For most wait staff tips have gone down because of the economy. So technically wait staffs salary has gone down.So why shouldn't wait staff get the same as anyone else? Wait staff have to tip share anyway so they make no where near minimum wage. I thought Kansas had finally moved to the 21st century. Wrong again. Love to know where you work Larry. My son makes no where near that as a waiter by the time he has to tip share"

Prices do vary based on locations in those large chains. Example price of fajita chicken salad in LA, 13.99 price in san franciso, 12.99 price in Kansas , 9.49

source, http://www.ontheborder.com/menu/default.asp?Unit_ID=7507530006&state=CA

And this is probably due to the higher food costs, but ALSO because they are required to pay their staff higher wages. But having waited tables for a long time, I would have to say that if your son has a job where he is averaging less than minimum wage, he should seek employment elsewhere. I've never had that problem! And the fanciest establishment I've worked for is Paisano's in Topeka, so basically, not that fancy.

sourpuss 6 years, 3 months ago

Business owners love to pay their employees next to nothing (at least the jerkier ones) but it is best for the economy if lots of people have lots of disposable income. We should all want everyone to be as wealthy as possible. The more economic activity, the richer everyone becomes. If you let a few people have all the money, everyone, even the rich, suffer for it. Essentially, the Middle Ages was one, long depression, and an average person now lives so much better than the richest people in the 8th century. Now, you don't want products and services being too expensive or no one will buy and you get the same problem, so you want to find the middle ground. This minimum wage increase is not outrageous, and is still below a living wage, but hopefully it will help a bit.

Of course, I'm in a union and get a fairly ridiculous hourly wage. Yay my union.

VTHawk 6 years, 3 months ago

Nothing like raising the minimum wage during a recession (that means that more firings are on the way). All that this wage increase will mean is that it will be more difficult than ever for young people to get entry-level or part-time jobs.

If raising the minimum wage is such a good idea, why stop at $7.25. Why not $10, or $50?

This new law will also mean that more low level jobs will be given to illegal immigrants, since it will be cost-prohibitive for some to hire legal employees.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 3 months ago

Of course, I'm in a union and get a fairly ridiculous hourly wage. Yay my union.

Hope you don't work for GM

saraheckman 6 years, 3 months ago

otto,

an example of someone who would qualify for this raise might be a home health aide employed by his or her patient, a farm worker in a small farm operation, a person working at a small mom and pop business that doesn't accept credit cards. As others have said, the raise does not affect wait staff.

sizzleplate 6 years, 3 months ago

If the federal minimum wage was already around 6.25, isn't it impossible for someone to get paid 2.65? I've never heard of anyone making that little, so what does it matter?

otto 6 years, 3 months ago

sizzleplate - that is my question as well -

Sarah - what does accepting credit card have to with it?

seriously - my first job in about 1985 I was told minimum wage was like 3.65/hour working for a small business in lawrence.

saraheckman 6 years, 3 months ago

otto-

As far as I understand from what I have read, you can only pay state minimum wage if your business does not engage in interstate commerce. Apparently, credit card transactions are considered interstate commerce. Again, it is a very very small percentage of Kansas workers who made less than federal minimum wage, somthing like 12,000 people. The reason I know a little about the situation is that I was given some literature about the Kansas minimum wage by a group attempting to raise it. I could be wrong about it though, because it was last summer when I read the information.

sara

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