When a state passes a wage law with the express approval of voters, one might hope that the law would stick around. However, lawmakers in Maine are currently looking for ways to repeal a new minimum wage law that voters passed just a few months ago in November. If they are successful the minimum wage law voters chose will be modified and weakened before it ever takes effect.
While the newly approved law would not be undone entirely, many key provisions would see significant modification that would undermine the strength of the law altogether. For instance, the original law laid out a process for tipped employees to see their wages increased to the minimum wage over the next seven years, from well below the minimum wage currently. The proposed changes would keep tipped employees' pay below minimum wage.
The new proposed changes also seek to eliminate indexing increases in minimum wage to increases in inflation, as well as provide exceptions to minimum wage for minors and students, allowing them to earn below minimum wage. It is yet to be seen how these changes will play out, and there are staunch supporters on all sides of the issues.
Wage laws get to the heart of some of America's core values, and should not be taken lightly. On the one hand, many people believe that the minimum wage hurts businesses and affects costs of living adversely. Others believe that a minimum wage ensures that all people can survive without facing oppression at the hands of unscrupulous employers. The proposed raise in minimum wage in Maine aims to create better quality of living for residents, but may have unintended consequences.
If you believe that your employer is not treating you equitably, it is important to fight for you rights with the help of an experienced attorney. With proper legal counsel, you can ensure that your rights remain secure while fighting for fair treatment for yourself and others.
Source: The New Jersey Herald, "Lawmakers consider rolling back voter-approved minimum wage," April 04, 2017