Small Businesses Reeling from Minimum Wage Hike
According to a new survey, nearly 70 percent of small businesses say that they might have to raise their prices because of costs associated with the recent increase in the federal minimum wage, and 60 percent of small business owners predict they won't be able to offset the cost of the wage increase.
The survey, conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also found that more than 20 percent of small employers said they expect to scale back hiring plans due to anticipated costs from the higher minimum wage. And, about one-third of small businesses reported experiencing other, non-wage related cost increases as a result of the new rate.
The federal minimum wage received a boost from $5.15 per hour to $5.85
per hour on July 24, 2007, and it is slated to go up two more times by
2009. Some states are not directly affected by the change because
California's minimum wage remains higher.
FLSA Poster Compliance Is Free
With the recent federal minimum wage increase, employers were required to post the newly-revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Poster. As with similar changes in federal or state law, employers have been unnecessarily confused by sales pitches and official-looking letters that threatened serious consequences unless a purchase of their poster is made.
"These are just companies looking to use one's ignorance of the laws, when you can get this poster for free," observed Frank Whitney of the MidCal Better Business Bureau in Stockton, Calif.
Recently, the New Hampshire Department of Labor issued an "employer alert" warning of poster pushers. "We have been notified that again some companies have sent solicitation letters to businesses and are visiting business locations indicating the need to purchase up-to-date labor law posters or risk being fined for noncompliance. The State of New Hampshire Department of Labor does mandate certain posting and these postings are available free of charge," according to the alert.
Similarly, Kentucky's Attorney General Greg Stumbo cautioned employers "to be on the lookout for misleading labor law notices sold by private companies."
"These notices use scare tactics and official-looking seals and language to mislead businesses into thinking the government is contacting them and threatening a fine if they don't purchase these posters," noted Stumbo. For example, Stumbo pointed out that some Kentucky businesses had received sales materials with threatening labels such as "Second" and "Final Notice."
"Employers need to know that these posters may be obtained free of charge from governmental agencies," said Stumbo.
The FLSA Minimum Wage Poster is available as a free download from
the U.S. Department of Labor in English, Spanish, and Chinese.