Goldwater Institute decries Arizona minimum wage law

The Goldwater Institute filed a friend of the court brief in the case challenging the constitutionality of the minimum wage law Thursday, Jan. 12.

Arizona voters last November approved a law mandating an increase in the minimum wage and new time-off benefits that was supposed to help “all Arizonans employed by any employer in Arizona.”

However, the initiative included a loophole for one group of employers: those that have unionized employees, according to a press release.

The Institute argues that in addition to being bad policy with measureable negative consequences, the law is illegal because it doesn’t apply equally to all businesses.

“Arizona’s new minimum wage law isn’t about protecting workers — in fact, it doesn’t even apply to all workers,” Timothy Sandefur, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, said in a release. “This initiative carves labor unions out of the law. Any company that has unionized workers doesn’t have to provide the benefits. This cynical scheme won’t just hurt companies that don’t hire union workers. It’s already hurting organizations that help the developmentally disabled and other vulnerable populations.”

Mr. Sandefur added he thinks has more negatives then positives.

“It doesn’t help poor people by making it harder for them to find work,” he said in a release. “But setting aside the argument about whether a higher minimum wage is a good idea, this initiative is already having negative consequences for the very people it was supposed to help. And the fact that it only applies to certain companies and organizations is just wrong. We don’t get to pick and choose who has to follow the law. The court needs to scrap this initiative.”

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