A bill to raise the minimum wage to more than $10 an hour is co-sponsored by Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin. While many workers would like the pay raise, employers say it's bad for business.
Most of the workers at Papio Fun Park in Papillion are teenagers and the owner says a raise in the minimum wage would be tough to swallow. “We can't just raise the entry level kids because even the shift managers aren't making a whole lot more than that $10 an hour,” says Papio Fun Park owner Margaret White.
White says the last time the minimum wage went up, her payroll costs increased by 20 percent. She says if the minimum wage goes up again, that jump in payroll costs will be even worse. White estimates a 35-percent jump in payroll if the minimum wage goes above $10. “That's not just three dollars an hour, that's more Social Security and Medicare, unemployment and workman's comp that that employer has to pay for that one individual,” says White.
The proposal in Congress would also raise the minimum wage for servers at restaurants like La Vista Keno from $2.13 per hour to 70-percent of minimum wage. “At least 60-percent of our employees make the waitress minimum wage plus tips,” says La Vista Keno general manager Colleen Olson. “Our keno waiters would make minimum wage plus tips, so it would make a pretty big impact on our business.”
That impact would ultimately be passed on to the customer. “We want our customers to enjoy coming here and get a good experience and that's not going to happen if they're having to pay more for everything that they do,” adds Olson.
The bill in Congress is called the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. If the bill becomes law, the increases would take effect over several years.