- Arizona business groups took their battle against the minimum wage to the state supreme court, reports the Arizona Daily Star. Voters approved the wage hike by referendum in the November elections.
- Led by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, businesses want relief from raising workers’ pay, writes the Daily Star. Arizona’s minimum wage is now $10 an hour and will rise to $12 an hour by 2020 under Proposition 206.
- The justices told the plaintiffs’ lawyers that they’ll decide only whether Proposition 206 violates a provision in Arizona’s constitution by forcing the state to spend additional money and failing to provide the source of those additional funds.
Voter approval of the minimum wage hike is hardly final. Proposition 206 exempts the state from paying workers $10 an hour, says the Star. It also exempts the state from a provision requiring the state to give employees at least three paid sick leave days a year.
These exemptions, together with the notion that Prop 206 might violate Arizona’s constitution, leave open the possibility that the state’s business groups could win their case.
As of Jan. 1, 19 states started the year with minimum wage increases. Nearly 11.8 million U.S. workers could see their pay increased. But business groups across the country could challenge the wage hikes in their states, with a boost from Republican state lawmakers.
Not all business groups oppose the minimum wage increase. A 2015 CareerBuilder study of 2,321 HR managers and recruiting specialists and 3,039 private-industry employees found that 64% of employers supported a $10 minimum-wage hike.