Several business groups are pushing back against Sen. Bernie Sanders' "Raise the Wage Act" that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, The Hill reported.
The restaurant industry said the COVID-19 pandemic has already hit restaurants hard.
"Far too many restaurants will respond by laying off even more workers or closing their doors for good," said Sean Kennedy, National Restaurant Association executive vice president of public affairs. "As the pandemic has highlighted, the economic realities of each state are very different."
Kennedy added, "A nationwide increase in the minimum wage will create insurmountable costs for many operators in states where restaurant jobs are most needed for recovery."
The franchise industry is concerned about the rollout.
"We do have concerns about more than doubling the federal minimum wage, particularly so quickly, and even more concerns about doing it while small businesses are still dealing with the pandemic and coming out of this economic downturn," said Matthew Haller, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs for the International Franchise Association.
"The real issue is that doubling the minimum wage will be more harmful to the people it's intended to help, in places where the cost of living is lower: $15 makes sense in New York City or San Francisco, but it doesn’t work in Wheeling, West Virginia," he said.
The Service Employees International Union says its campaign to raise the minimum wage has led to $68 billion in raises for 22 million workers since it launched in 2012.
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