OPINIONWorkforce

Will $30 replace $15 as the target for minimum-wage increases?

Restaurant Rewind: A proposal to require $30 an hour for some foodservice employees is already scheduled for consideration by Los Angeles County officials next month. Is it a fluke or an omen? The past provides some clues.

Restaurateurs greeted the initial demands for a $15 minimum wage with disbelief and ridicule. Now the industry is facing proposals to set a floor of $30 an hour for some employees.

Is it déjà vu all over again? Will that level of pay become the new wage target for organized labor and politicians, the way $15 has been for years? Or is the demand for a $30 wage merely a test to see how high the pay floor can be lifted?

This week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind looks for clues in a recollection of how a $15 wage became the standard ask when increases in a minimum wage are being considered. How did a pay level more than double the federal rate become a norm?

Download the episode and join me as we retrace that course. You’ll find Restaurant Rewind wherever you usually get your podcasts.

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