BOONEVILLE, Ky. (AP) - On Tuesday, Wallace Thomas will have to
pay a handful of his eastern Kentucky sawmill employees 75 cents
more per hour under the state's new minimum wage law.
No big deal, he says.
The tough part will be two years from now when a dozen or so
employees now making around $7 an hour realize they're earning as
much as a minimum wage worker.
"It'll be harder to make someone already making $7 an hour work
for the same amount" when the minimum wage reaches $7.25, said
Thomas, co-owner of Thomas Brothers Sawmill in Owsley County.
The law, virtually identical to the minimum wage law passed in
Congress last month, increases minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 in
three installments over two years. The first jump, effective
Tuesday, will raise the wage to $5.85.
Experts say the new minimum wage laws will have little impact on
major businesses and on the working poor in Kentucky - the sixth
poorest state in the nation.