Roseburg, Or (KMTR) On January 1st, Oregon minimum wage is going up. Minimum wage employees are going to see a 30 cent jump in their pay, making $8.80 an hour. Not everybody is happy about the bump in pay. Some small business owners in Roseburg say it has a negative effect on their company, and even other employees.
They say the mandatory pay bump doesn’t mean employees will necessarily end up with more money, because employers could have to cut hours to balance the books. Meaning the employees don't end up seeing the extra funds.
They say it gets in the way of paying for raises for more senior ranking employees, who's wages get closer to matching the rising minimum wage every year.
Even those unaffected by the raise say they just don't like being told how to do business. Frank Bartley, owner of Hanson Jewelers, says his employees tend to be paid above minimum wage anyway, but says he relates to other businesses troubled by the increase.
"You don't want to be dictated to, you've worked hard and long hours to achieve what you have, you don't want anybody to come in and tell you that you have to do this or you have to do that."
Some business owners view the wage hike differently. Ron Sutten, owner of Mystic Earth says a higher wage for employees may cost more money for businesses in the short term, but he’s focused on how the community benefits.
"I want to see my business prosper not just for my personal benefit, but because I know it will benefit the other people too. We can hire more employees; we can provide more to the community. That’s what it's all about, that's why we're here."
He says the wage increase is crucial for working parents who might otherwise have to work extremely long hours to provide for their family.
Oregon holds the second highest minimum wage in the country. Washington will continue to offer the highest next year with $9.04 in 2012.