4 September 2017
A few hours ago, I got an email from my business partner, Alan, about fair wages in St. Louis.
As reported in the Riverfront Times, St. Louis City had a $10/hour minimum wage law set to go into effect in July. However, a new Missouri state law superseded it, causing minimum-wage employees in St. Louis to drop back down to $7.70/hour.
I’m sure people have different political views on whether or not the government should have a place in establishing minimum, fair, and living wages. I don’t really want to get into that side of things. As a business owner, I have the power to make positive change regardless of what the government says is the lowest amount I can pay someone–that’s what this is about.
The thing Alan alerted me to is that more than 100 businesses in St. Louis have committed to continue paying the higher minimum wage ($10) even though they could legally pay less. There actually may be many more businesses in the area that do this, and they just haven’t contacted the campaign or the Riverfront Times.
Stonemaier Games doesn’t have employees (other than myself); rather, we have some independent contractors who work as needed, usually around 5-10 hours a week at most. I pay them a minimum of $20/hour. Why $20?
- Because $20 is the minimum I would want to work on anything for an hour. How could I ask someone else to accept less?
- Because I don’t spend Stonemaier’s money unless it makes us better. You get what you pay for. I’d rather Stonemaier be $20 better than $7.70 better.
- Because it feels like the right thing to do. If someone works 40 hours a week making $7.70/hour, that adds up to $16,016/year before taxes. That’s inconceivable.
I love that Kickstarter creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners have the power to make positive change not just with the people who enjoy our content, but also those we employ to help us create that content. I commend my fellow businesses in St. Louis who are sticking with $10 or more instead of dropping to $7.70.
If you have employees or independent contractors, how do you wield that power?