You Must Pay At Least $9.00/hour – This one is obvious. If you are currently pay lower than $9/hour you must at least meet or beat the new min. wage requirements. So that means for your cleaning wages, travel time, meeting times, loading and unloading, flyering, etc. it all must be paid at no less than $9.00/hour if the wage increase passes.
Wage Creep for Good employees – Cleaning companies hire entry level workers, but generally for a couple of dollars more an hour to start than minimum wage because the work is more difficult, requires more independence and requires more skill than a typical min. wage job ( like fast food). If all entry level jobs have to pay $1.75 more per hour than now, then cleaning companies may have to jump up their own wages or else they will be paying the same as lower skilled, easier entry level jobs, and may find it difficult to find quality workers.
Your Wage “Danger Zone” will increase – Many service tech. businesses have unique pay structures involving paying people on commission, piecemeal, per stop fees and pay-for- performance bonuses. Although this type of compensation is designed greatly reward fast, skilled and efficient employees far above the minimum wage, payment like this does create a “Danger Zone” in your pay structure; where businesses are ok to pay in these alternative way in many states, BUT are required to divide all of the work hours (cleaning, travel time, meetings, supplies load/unload, etc.) into their total payment (wages, bonuses and tips) and verify that it is above the minimum wage (the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act). Complex pay structures make this tedious and difficult to calculate for many companies (management software leaves some of this math still up to you); so to make this easier I have created several Service Technician Timesheet/Calculators custom to a multitude of cleaning business pay structures that you can download for FREE by clicking here.
Cost-Push Inflation – When minimum wages rise, you AND your competitors may have to pay more, and where is that money going to come from? Often minimum wage increases have a “cost-push” affect where many business owners will need to charge more for their services to cover the increased expenses. In a sense, for the business owner it may “all come out in the wash”.
Change in Independent Cleaner Competition – This could go either way. On one hand, with higher wages being offered by cleaning companies, independents may find it easier to avoid the uncertainty of working independently and become an employee for someone else. On the other hand, customers being bumped up with new higher prices from professional services may seek out lower-cost independent options; as always tackle independent competition with better marketing.
We will just have to wait and see if the President’s proposal comes to fruition, but until then be prepared and check with your department of labor for your state and local municipalities for your local requirements (some cities have their own minimum wage laws), and changes that may be occurring.