D.C. Council Approves $15 Minimum Wage

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 2:50 PM
D.C. Council Approves $15 Minimum Wage

The District of Columbia council has unanimously approved a $15/hour minimum wage. The wage will be phased in gradually and finally reach $15 in the year 2020.

The current minimum wage in D.C. is $10.50.

The District’s hourly minimum, now $10.50, would rise to $15 by 2020. After that, annual increases would be automatic and tied to inflation, as unions have wanted. But to assuage the District’s powerful restaurant-industry lobby, D.C. lawmakers have demanded that tipped workers’ pay rise by a smaller amount.

Tipped workers’ base rate would increase from $2.77 an hour to $5 an hour and would be tied to inflation. Employers in the District would also remain responsible for paying employees the difference between their base pay and minimum wage if tips do not make up the balance.

I guess this means the three Wendy's locations in D.C. will be getting kiosks sooner than later. Kiosks are cheaper than human workers at $15/hour. Additionally, the two Walmart stores that were supposed to be built in the city now definitely won't happen due to increased labor costs.

Creating an artificial wage floor won't actually help workers who lose their jobs to cut costs. The true minimum wage, of course, is zero dollars--regardless of what cities vote.