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Minimum wage

Raising hourly pay has been a topic of discussion in Washington, in many state capitals, and in several cities. Five states, San Francisco, and Chicago have all succeeded in passing measures to do so.

It's not just wages, though. Retail employees’ working conditions have also become an issue — and San Francisco has already taken that on, passing a “Retail Worker Bill of Rights” this month that is unprecedented in scope. The law addresses erratic scheduling and requires retailers to pay for time when workers are on call or face last-minute changes. Retailers will also be required to give part-time workers more hours before hiring more staff. The law affects retail chains that have at least 20 locations nationally, including about 5% of the city’s workforce. Seattle voters last year​ approved a similar law requiring businesses to offer more hours to part-time employees before hiring additional workers, and Rep. George Miller from California has introduced a similar bill in Congress.

These two issues are growing concerns, and retailers should take a good look at the fairness of their pay and scheduling. Not only will it help them prepare for possible policy changes ahead; many retail experts say it could also help boost their own bottom lines.

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