By Cascade Employers Association ,
So you may have heard rumblings about companies who are paying astronomical minimum wage rates. A California fast food restaurant recently reported they will be raising minimum wage to $17.00 per hour  for their employees.
Interesting considering the minimum wage tiered adjustments in California are actually lower than Oregon until 2021:
Regardless of what other companies and organizations are doing, it is important to start planning what your next step will be. Sure, you may be competing with other organizations paying these rates and eventually you will have to pay them as well, but the key word is eventually. Fortunately, Oregon’s tiered approach allows time to plan . . . and plan you must do!
One key thing to remember . . . minimum wage adjustments are not intended to impact your entire organization. They are intended to bring the lower wages up. Yes, it is important that you minimize compression  as much as possible and ensure that your current employees are making more than minimum wage and new hire wages, yet all of this is manageable with proper planning .
Evaluate how the minimum wage adjustments will impact your entry level employees and new hires all the way through 2022. Evaluate compression and identify what you need to do annually to accommodate the changes. And finally, one last piece of advice . . . communicate with your employees about the changes, ahead of time. Let them know your plan and how it may impact them, allow them to ask questions and make sure to address any concerns they may have.
Quick reminder of minimum wage levels through 2022:
1 Region 1: Base: Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Deschutes, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill
2 Region 2: Nonurban Counties: Baker, Coos, Crook, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa and Wheeler
3 Region 3: Portland Urban Growth Boundary