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Eureka Chamber of Commerce not in favor of proposed Eureka Fair Wage Act

EUREKA- In November, Eureka residents will vote for or against the Eureka Fair Wage Act, which would raise the minimum wage within city limits to $12 dollars for businesses with at least 25 employees.

The Eureka Chamber of Commerce has released a statement voicing its disapproval of the proposed act.

It states, “As written, the Eureka Fair Wage Act (EFWA) would create an uneven playing field between the various communities of Humboldt County.  If passed, there is no question that the EFWA will result in the outward migration of employment opportunities within the City of Eureka boundaries, negatively impacting the cost and availability of services for the community.  Most likely, the ripple effect will negatively impact employment opportunities countywide. 

“Additionally, there will be a negative impact on businesses, non-profits and government agencies which will be required to track the time an employee works in or travels through Eureka and pay them using a different pay scale during that time.  Separate minimum wages at the local jurisdictional level creates accounting, administrative and legal hardships on both government and local business.  These requirements will impact both non-exempt and many exempt employees.  

“The Eureka Chamber of Commerce does not take a position on the appropriate minimum level of compensation for employees within our communities.  It does however; recognize that there is a delicate balance between the two extremes both of which would/could negatively impact the work force.  Raise the minimum wage too high and jobs will vanish.  Set it too low and the work force is under served. 

“The official position of the Eureka Chamber of Commerce is that the Eureka Fair Wage Act, as currently written, will negatively impact employment opportunities as well as the overall economic health of the community.  Furthermore, the dialogue regarding the appropriate level of minimum compensation should be on a wider geographic basis and not limited to one community.”