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Bucking the Trend: New Hampshire Governor Says “No” to Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum wage won’t be going up in New Hampshire any time soon.  The Governor recently vetoed a bill that would have increased the state minimum wage from the federal $7.25 per hour minimum to $12 per hour by 2022.  In vetoing the bill, Governor Christopher Sununu said the bill would have a “detrimental effect” on workers and would lead to “lost jobs, cut hours, and less money in the pockets of hard working” New Hampshire employees.

By exercising his veto power, the Governor of New Hampshire bucked the trend.  Many states, including Connecticut, have passed legislation increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour over some period of time.  This growing trend is a product of the “Fight for $15” movement which started in New York City when quick service restaurants began striking for higher wages.

In bucking the trend, the New Hampshire Governor raised arguments the small and family business community has long been raising regarding the dangers of raising the minimum wage.  Major concerns include less hours for hourly workers and even lost jobs.  In fact, with advances in technology, we are seeing this come to fruition in various industries.  For instance, quick service restaurants are replacing workers with kiosks where the customer can order their food, with no need for an employee.  Grocery stores are replacing cashiers with self-checkout registers.  Amazon even has a store in Seattle called “Amazon Go” where customers use an application on their phone to make purchases and there are no employees. 

Most business owners want to help their employees and raise wages.  However, a problem arises when the number of goods or services sold stays stagnant and the cost of labor increases.  There is no choice but to cut hours or cut workers.  Therefore, a rising minimum wage may not be all it is cracked up to be for everyone as the New Hampshire Governor made clear in his veto.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with state and federal employment laws including wage and hour laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560.