KGUN 9 On Your SideNews

Actions

Bosses hunting for how to comply with new minimum wage

The law covers more than just pay
Posted at 6:43 PM, Dec 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-09 20:43:59-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Paychecks will be a little fatter for minimum wage workers in Arizona as of New Year's Day.
 
That's when a new law voters demanded takes over and raises the minimum wage from $8.05 an hour to ten but the law calls for more than more pay and employers are having trouble getting the information they need to live up to other parts of the law.
 
A lot of low wage work is hard work.  Now because voters voted to require better wages the minimum wage goes up as of New Year's Day.
 
The law moves the minimum wage from $8.05 an hour to ten dollars an hour, and bumps it up each year until the minimum hits $12 dollars three years from now.  Raises after that would be based on cost of living.
 
The new minimum wage law is more than a matter of your boss simply pumping some extra dollars into your paycheck.  If you want to know how complex it is on the employer end of things just have a look at your own pay stub. There are a lot of complex boxes that boss has to fill in and we're hearing complaints they're not getting much guidance on how to do it.
        
At Pelio Grill near UA, owner George Markou says higher wages are forcing him to raise prices and cut staff, but his other worry is learning how to meet other requirements that come with the new law, like how to calculate paid sick time.
 
He says, “When you have an employee that is part time and let’s say one week they work 20 hours and another week they work 25 hours and it varies.  Are we supposed to average out in knowing how many hours of sick time they're supposed to get? "
 
Markou expected to find advice from Arizona's Labor Department---the state Industrial Commission but the website was no help.
       
At the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce Robert Medler says the state's not posting it's minimum wage website until late next week.  But he knows the answer to questions like how to calculate sick time.
 
“You earn one hour for every 30 hours you work.  As so if it's a part time position where maybe you work five hours this week, six hours next week, fifteen hours the next week your employer has to keep track of that and for every 30 you get one hour paid time off."
        
Medler says for now employers main worry is paying the new wage.  The time off requirements begin in July. And he says the Chamber is working to help bosses understand the new rules.