Another labor-cost bill that will impact thousands of Connecticut employers is HB 5069, which requires businesses with over 500 employees--or small businesses that are part of franchises that collectively have 500 or more employees--to pay their workers at an above-market union wage rate, called the standard wage.
The standard wage is the rate paid to unionized food service, maintenance, and janitorial workers in the Hartford area. Under the bill, the penalty for failing to pay this above-market rate to every employee is $1 per hour, per employee.
So, for example, if each of the 500 employees works only 20 hours per week, the penalty for the franchisor would be $10,000 per week.
This bill is bad for Connecticut. Dictating to businesses, large or small, that they must pay above-market benefits and wages to employees adds one more reason that the state’s business climate cannot compete with neighboring states.
Similar to the minimum wage increases, HB 5069 is a direct assault on the availability of job opportunities for teenagers and lower skilled workers. If it costs more for businesses to hire employees, they won’t be able to hire as many people.
HB 5069 also is a poorly disguised punitive tax on some of Connecticut’s corporations–corporations that not only provide opportunities and skills for their employees, but also give much back to the local communities.
The proposal is set to have a public hearing on Tuesday, February 18 by the Labor Committee. Let the committee know whether you think measures like this are good for Connecticut businesses.