Weis Markets Ups Starting Hourly Rate to $9

Weis Markets is the latest retailer to elevate its starting hourly rate for newly hired associates to $9, beginning Aug. 2, at which time the Sunbury, Pa.-based company will also increase the minimum hourly rate for current employees to $9.

“For more than 100 years, we have worked hard to create opportunities and career advancement options at Weis Markets for our associates," said Jonathan Weis, chairman and CEO of the163-store regional chain. "In recent years, we’ve made significant improvements to our training and development programs which are designed to help associates at all levels grow in their jobs and prepare for future opportunities in our organization.

"It is also important to note," Weis continued, "this move will have no impact on our prices.”

Instead, he said, the hourly wage hike is "part of our focus on associate development and satisfaction … [and] will not only benefit a significant number our current associates, but will also help us attract and retain talented associates to deliver best-in-class customer service every day."

In other hourly wage hike news, the Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 this week to raise its current $9 minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021.

Employers at businesses with more than 25 workers will incrementally increase wages for minimum-wage workers until everyone is making at least $15 an hour. The first wage hike for larger businesses will go into effect in July 2016 to $10.50 an hour, followed in 2017 to $12 per hour. In 2018, the wage will jump to $13.25 per hour, and then $14.25, until July 2020, when it will be $15 an hour. In 2022, the minimum wage will continue to increase based on the consumer price index.

Businesses with fewer than 25 employees have until 2021 to reach $15 an hour, although there are some exceptions. Teenage workers would be paid 85 percent of the city minimum wage or the state wage – whichever is higher. Additionally, nonprofits with more than 25 workers could get a waiver under certain conditions: if their top executive earns less than five times what the lowest-paid worker makes, if the nonprofit provides transitional jobs, if it provides child care providers, or if it's funded by government grants or reimbursements.

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