The Washington, D.C., City Council passed a measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 for hourly employees on Tuesday and increased the tipped wage to $5 an hour.
The Democrat-controlled council unanimously voted to hike the district’s hourly minimum wage from $10.50 to $15 an hour, a 43 percent increase. The council took up the matter as union-backed groups campaigned to put a $15 wage on the November ballot.
That measure would have forced all employees, including tipped workers, to receive an hourly rate more than twice as high as the federal minimum of $7.25. Mayor Muriel Bowser brought the $15 wage to the council in March.
Michael Saltsman, research director of the free market Employment Policies Institute, called the measure the latest in the “fight against common sense.” California struck a deal to enact a $15 minimum wage by 2022 in March after labor activists petitioned to put the proposal on the November ballot. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed similar legislation in April.
Saltsman said the nearly 50 percent wage hike would force businesses to cut hours, stop hiring, and raise prices on consumers to make up for higher labor costs.