Features, Finance, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, National

Dallas Sets $15 Minimum Wage for County Workers

September 21, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DALLAS, Tex.—Dallas County became the fifth local government in Texas to increase its employees’ minimum wage to $15 an hour Sept. 17, when the Commissioners Court approved a budget raising it from $11.71 by a 4-1 vote. “Elected officials cannot go out and talk about the importance of living wage jobs in the community if we don’t pay a living wage here at home,” County Judge Clay Jenkins told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s like a parent talking to you about the dangers of teenage drinking when they’re on their fifth beer.” The increase, which will go into effect Oct. 1, will cover less than 50 county employees, mostly clerks and other entry-level administrators. It will not cover employees of county contractors, such as janitors. Texas’s four largest cities have now all set pay floors for their workers above the state minimum of $7.25. San Antonio and the surrounding Bexar County have raised theirs to $15, as have Austin and the surrounding Travis County. Houston has a $15 minimum for construction contractors, and the city of Dallas pays its employees at least $13. State law prohibits local governments from increasing the minimum wage for private-sector employees. Read more

September 21, 2019

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