Push for $15 Raises Pay–and Tensions

Daily News Article - May 11, 2016

Questions

1. Describe the problem some employees have with the government imposed mandatory minimum wage increase in several cities across the country.

2. a) How are large chain stores like the Gap and Walmart dealing with this problem?
b) Why do you think it might be harder for small business owners to do the same? (Ask a parent if you can’t guess.)

3. a) Which states have passed laws requiring businesses to increase the minimum wage they pay employees to $15/hour?
b) How many cities have done the same?

4. a) For what reasons do supporters of mandated minimum wage support these laws?
b) For what reasons so those who oppose government mandated minimum wage do so?

5. a) What benefits did the Gap gain from raising minimum wage pay for its 60,000 hourly employees to $10 in 2015?
b) Why did it cause at least one employee in a Chicago area gap to look for another job?
c) Do you think this is a reasonable response? Explain your answer.

6. a) How did the owner of three Tropical Smoothie franchise locations address the issue of shift leaders salaries now being close to new hire regular employees?
b) How did she make up the extra money paid to these workers?
c) Do you think the price increases will hurt her business? Explain your answer.
d) Do you think your answer would be different based on the amount of spending money you personally have to spend each week? Explain your answer.

7. a) Do you support local, state and federal government mandates that businesses pay their employees a certain minimum wage? Why or why not?
b) Ask a parent:
7. a) Do you support local, state and federal government mandates that businesses pay their employees a certain minimum wage? Why or why not?
Opinion question. Answers vary.
b) Ask a parent:
-Do you think mandatory $15/hour minimum wage laws will hurt or harm the economy in the long run?
-Do you think mandatory $15/hour minimum wage laws will hurt or harm teen employment numbers the long run?
-What, if any, do you think the government should set the minimum wage at? Why?
-Large corporations have shareholders (investors) they must answer to: do you think they will be able to significantly increase minimum wage without increasing their prices?