The Raise the Wage Act of 2019: What People Are Saying

Here’s what experts are saying about the Raise the Wage Act, which gradually increases the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 by 2024.

Letter of Support of 362 Organizations, including civil rights advocates, worker advocates, economists, anti-poverty organizations, food banks, faith-based organizations, and others groups across the country: “At a time when wage stagnation and income inequality pose serious threats to our families and our economy, the Raise the Wage Act of 2019 will begin to reverse that cycle and raise pay broadly across the bottom of the workforce.”

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage: “Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 will be good for business, good for customers and good for our economy. Workers are also customers – and increased pay means increased consumer buying power. Raising the minimum wage also pays off in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, and better productivity and customer service. Employees often make the difference between repeat customers and lost customers. It’s time to boost the economy from the bottom up and assure a decent minimum wage wherever people live and do business.”

Neera Tanden, President and CEO of Center for American Progress: “The introduction of the Raise the Wage Act in both houses of Congress—and the commitment from leaders in the U.S. House to advance this legislation without delay—is a clear sign that we have turned the page in Washington. Unlike the House majority from the previous Congress, which spent its time passing tax cuts for the wealthy and doling out favors to its corporate friends, this new majority is laser-focused on boosting workers’ wages and building an economy that works for everyone. The Raise the Wage Act will do exactly that by gradually boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Critically, this legislation will also promote equity by eliminating discriminatory subminimum wages for tipped workers and for workers with disabilities.”

Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce: “Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 will be a win-win for businesses and workers. It will help small businesses like my members by putting more money in the pockets of customers – boosting consumer demand and job creation. Businesses that pay low wages may save on immediate payroll, but they experience the significant expense of higher turnover, low morale and a less productive workforce. Raising the minimum wage is a vital investment in businesses and our economy.”

Michael Lastoria, CEO of &pizza“When you take care of your people, they take care of your customers, and your business thrives. As a result of fair wages, we’ve seen higher employee productivity and retention. Our employee morale has skyrocketed and, with it, our customer experience and our bottom line. Our employees have become our loudest brand ambassadors.”

Angela O’Byrne, President of Perez APC, 2016 Small Business Person of the Year: “A stagnant minimum wage that mires full-time workers in poverty makes absolutely no sense from a business perspective. Paying fair wages boosts consumer demand, which drives job creation. Gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 will create an economic ripple effect benefitting businesses large and small.”

Sue Melvin, Vice President of Human Resources, Stonyfield“At Stonyfield we know that our employees and our business thrive because we pay fair wages. But it’s time to raise the bar, so that everyone who works hard is actually able to make ends meet. That’s just not possible at $7.25 an hour. We are strong supporters of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024.”

Mike Draper, Owner of Raygun LLC: “Raising the minimum wage is important for fair competition and a thriving economy. My taxes shouldn’t be diverted into corporate welfare going to subsidize my competitors whose low wages drive their employees to public assistance. An economy thrives when working people can make ends meet and have money to spend at local businesses.”

Rebecca Hamilton, Family Owner and Vice President of W.S. Badger Company, a 2017 Forbes Small Giant: “$7.25 per hour is not an adequate wage in New Hampshire, or anywhere we sell Badger Balm and our other products across the U.S. Paying a living wage is a core part of our culture and has helped us hire and retain excellent staff even in a time when other businesses have struggled. Fair pay and other family-friendly practices help build successful businesses and healthy communities.”

Michael O’Connor, Owner of La Barberia“We know that by paying fair wages, our employees are happier and they stick around, providing the great service that keeps our customers coming back and recommending us to others. When the minimum wage goes up, businesses will see costly turnover go down.”

Kathy Eckhouse, Owner, La Quercia: “The current $7.25 minimum wage is a drag on the nation’s customer base and economy. Workers in one business are the consumers for other businesses. Raising the minimum wage is important to a healthy food system that sustains everyone from producers and sellers to customers and the communities we live in.”

National Disability Rights Network: “An increase in the minimum wage is long overdue and will have a positive impact for those individuals with disabilities who are employed. We are especially pleased with the inclusion of a phase out of the subminimum wage for individuals with disabilities currently allowed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act in this legislation. As you know, the practice of paying individuals with disabilities subminimum wage is a relic from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) passed in 1938 – a holdover which is now recognized as discriminatory, archaic, and in direct conflict with other exiting federal statutes and initiatives.”

Letter of Support from 15 Disability Rights Organizations: “The inclusion of 14(c) in the Raise the Wage Act sends a clear message to Congress and to the public that it is no longer acceptable to pay individuals with disabilities less than the minimum wage. The undersigned organizations thank you again for including in the bill provisions to end this unfair and outdated treatment of people with disabilities.”


Press Contact

Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853