UPCOMING EVENTS
April 19, 2005

SUPERCHARGE YOUR
CAREER WORKSHOP

Celebrating Equal Pay Day, 2005

Marriott Southpoint
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Bob McKenzie will be one
of the presenters.

His Topic:

“Are You the Only One Who Knows How Good You Are? “

Call 722-3000
for more information.
--------------------------------

July 14, 2004

Mr. McKenzie will be the Guest Speaker at the Society for Human Resources Management Luncheon also at the Marriott at Southpoint.

The Topic:

“A High Performance
Workplace, You Can
Feel it In the Air”

Call us at 273-8637
for more information.


New Federal Poster for the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) is required – download one from our website.
www.mckenziehr.com


Ask about our New Recruitment Services e-mail: Potential@mckenziehr.com

For no charge you have the opportunity to ask human resource related questions of Bob McKenzie, President of McKenzieHR

To ASK Bob click here


Contact Information
200 Executive Way
Ponte Vedra, FL 32082
Phone: (904) 273-8637

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Are You Ready for the Minimum Wage Backlash?

In November, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.15 per hour. The increase goes into effect on May 2, 2005. Many other states have already increased their minimum wage in 2005 including New York, Washington, District of Columbia, Maryland and Illinois to name a few. To most companies, raising the minimum wage is not a big deal as their lowest paid employees are significantly above the new minimum wage. Right? Well, maybe not. The last time the minimum wage increased was September 1, 1997, and many may not remember the backlash it caused in the workplace. At that time, the increase was only 8% and many employees who were then making quite a bit more than $5.15 per hour expressed disappointment with the fact that they did not receive wage increases.

The upcoming Florida minimum wage increase is nearly 20% and should have a much more profound trickle-up effect on wages throughout the state than previous wage increases. Are you ready? The newspapers will have headline stories which will be read by your employees who will wonder if they will be getting more money. After all, there is some good reasoning. If their job was worth three dollars an hour more than the minimum wage in April, isn’t it worth three dollars more than the minimum wage in May? What’s your answer? Are you ready?

What if you have a retail store and pride yourself on paying more than the minimum wage. Now you have two choices, you can either raise your starting wage for new employees or change your compensation philosophy. What about the employee who started at $6.00 an hour last year and received two raises since then and now makes $6.50 per hour. Does this person deserve a raise because your new hires will earn only 35 cents an hour less than an experienced employee?

What about the experienced accounting clerk who is making $10.00 an hour? Does he deserve a wage increase because you feel you must raise the starting wage for an accounting clerk from $7.00 to $7.50 an hour because the pay was too close to the minimum wage?

These are tough questions to answer.

In Florida, the trouble will start all over again next year. The minimum wage amendment includes an annual escalator to the minimum wage which is tied to the consumer price index. So, on January 1 of each year, the minimum wage will go up again.

Aside from raising all wages to a minimum of $6.15 per hour, our recommendation is to take a wait and see approach. Wage rates are normally determined by the marketplace. In time, the market will tell you what you should do with your rates of pay. In the meantime, tell your employees that you pay competitive wages and will continue to do so regardless of were the minimum wage falls. In time, conduct a survey of the wages being paid by your competitors using a third party to conduct the survey. If a wage increase is warranted and you can afford to pay higher wages, than do it.

In Florida, there is very little that can be done as the minimum wage is now a part of the state constitution. At least in Maryland and New York, it can be changed by the legislature. Other states should keep a close eye on what happens in Florida over the next couple of years. It could turn out to be a very educational experience.

 

MARCH 2005 -
Employee Retention - Harness the Energy of Your New Hires
FEBRUARY 2005 -
The Wage and Hour Division is Keeping Enforcement Promises
JANUARY 2005 -
Effective Performance Management Systems Are A Competitive Advantage
DECEMBER 2004 -
End of the Year Things to Be Thankful For
OCTOBER 2004 -
Recruitment Metrics Are You Measuring the Right Stuff?
SEPTEMBER 2004 -
Do Machines Mean More Than People?
AUGUST 2004 -
Employment At Will – What Does It Really Mean?
JULY 2004 -
CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ITS WORST
JUNE 2004 -
NEW WAGE & HOUR RULES – “A BIG SOMETHNG”