David Morrison, a principal in the firm's Labor & Employment group, is quoted in "Hotel Industry Grapples With Minimum-Wage Hikes," published in the March 14, 2019, edition of Hotel Management. The article discusses the rise of the minimum wage and how it will affect the hotel industry.
The article states that Mr. Morrison is skeptical of just how much potential minimum-wage increases will impact hospitality. He pointed out that the American Hotel & Lodging Association already claims that the hotel industry consistently employs workers above the minimum wage, so he doesn’t think other increases will have a dramatic result on the industry’s operations.
Mr. Morrison also chose to dispel rumors that a higher minimum wage would discourage future hotel development, pointing specifically to Seattle. There, the minimum wage was increased to $11 an hour in 2015 for companies with more than 500 workers, and has reached $16 per hour as of January 2019.
Minimum-wages increases also may increase competition for workers from neighboring states, Mr. Morrison said. As Illinois’ minimum wage increases, neighboring states such as Iowa, which retains an average minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, may see difficulty attracting workers. This problem is further complicated in areas with a high cost of living.
“One interesting phenomenon we have is that in high-cost touristy areas, hotel companies are having a harder time finding people to work in their hotels because the cost of living is so high,” Mr. Morrison said. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and I appreciate the concerns that are expressed by more rural locations regarding these increases.”