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An Act to Increase Minimum Wage in Portland

Question: “An Act to Increase the Minimum Wage in Portland will increase the minimum wage in Portland to $15 an hour over three years: it increases the minimum that tipped employees must be paid to 50% of the minimum wage, although employers must make up the difference if tipped employees do not earn at least minimum wage when their tips are added in. It moves the effective date of annual cost-of-living increases to the minimum wage from July 1 to Jan 1 to maintain consistency with state law. It also requires that employees be paid 1.5 times the minimum wage rate for any work performed during an emergency declared by the state or the municipality if that emergency applies to the employee’s geographical workplace. For instance, if the minimum wage were $12/hr, and the State of Maine or the City of Portland issued emergency proclamations such as the emergency orders declared during the COVID-19 pandemic, work performed during that emergency would be paid at 1.5 times the minimum wage, or $18/hr. This higher rate of pay would not apply to employees being allowed to work from home.”What does this Question Mean? This question seeks to increase the minimum wage in Portland incrementally from the current $12 per hour to $15 per hour by January 1, 2024. If passed, the city’s baseline minimum wage would be $13 per hour in 2022, $14 per hour in 2023, and $15 per hour in 2024. Thereafter, the wage would be indexed to inflation. The baseline minimum for tipped workers in Portland currently stands at 50% of the minimum wage, or $6. If passed, the tipped worker minimum wage would increase proportionally with the minimum wage to $6.50 per hour in 2022, $7 per hour in 2023, and $7.50 per hour in 2024.The question adds a hazard pay provision requiring workers to be paid time-and-a-half for work performed during a declared state of emergency, unless the employee is allowed to work from home.

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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

* 14,000 workers in Portland whose wages are at or below $15 per hour will be assisted

* 90% of families living below the poverty line in Portland will be assisted

* 2,000 adults and children will pulled out of poverty

* It disproportionately helps women, who make up more than half of minimum wage workers

* It disproportionately helps BIPOC workers, who make up four out of ten minimum wage workers

* 9,000 families will be indirectly assisted by the increase when employers increase pay for workers above the minimum wage in order to stay competitive.

* Helps the local economy by giving people more money to spend locally.

* 10,400 frontline workers will receive hazard pay in a state of emergency.
* If the higher wage hurts businesses, the ordinance cannot be changed within 5 years except by voter approval

* A state of emergency that did not effect the whole city would still impact wages for all city workers

* Small businesses cannot afford the higher wages during the pandemic and recession