Pressure on Congress to boost the federal wage floor for the first time in 13 years is building after voters in Republican-leaning Florida approved a ballot initiative to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.
Ordinarily, an increase to $15 an hour over several years would give businesses enough time to compensate for the higher labor costs, says Dilip Kanji, a businessman from Tampa, Fla., who owns a mix of hotels, restaurants, and rent-to-own retail franchises. But he hastens to add that these are not ordinary times.
“We’re now in a pandemic, with unemployment very high,” Kanji says. “We now have a Democratic government coming in, and we don’t know how that’s going to be.”