One misconception about Senate Bill 177, the youth minimum wage, came up yesterday in my conversation with Rick Knobe on KSOO Viewpoint University. As we discussed our petition drive to put the youth minimum wage on hold and refer it to a public vote, Knobe asked if the youth minimum wage just affects kids working at seasonal jobs.
Let’s review the exact text of Section 1 of the law:
Section 1. That § 60-11-3 be amended to read as follows:
60-11-3. Every employer shall pay to each employee wages at a rate of not less than eight dollars and fifty cents an hour. Violation of this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. The provisions of this section do not apply to certain employees being paid an opportunity wage pursuant to § 60-11-4.1, babysitters, employees under age eighteen, or outside salespersons. The provisions of this section also do not apply to employees employed by an amusement or recreational establishment, an organized camp, or a religious or nonprofit educational conference center if one of the following apply:
- The establishment, camp, or center does not operate for more than seven months in any calendar year; or
- During the preceding calendar year, the average receipts of the establishment, camp, or center for any six months of the calendar year were not more than thirty-three and one-third percent of its average receipts for the other six months of the year [2015 Senate Bill 177].
SB 177 simply adds the phrase “employees under age eighteen” to the criteria exempting workers from the minimum wage. No exception is made for young workers in certain settings, though the subsequent text shows that current law already allows owners of amusement parks and other seasonal facilities to pay their workers less. SB 177 extends that exception to every worker under 18, seasonal or ongoing. That’s all the more reason for every young worker to round up their voting-age friends and family and circulate our petition to refer SB 177 to a public vote.