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Season 5, Episode 102

Ballot measure proposes to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to $15

policy matters Ohio


Guest Name:

Michael Shields

Guest Website:

Policy Matters Ohio 

Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Michael Shields, an economist with Policy Matters Ohio, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss efforts to get a minimum wage amendment on Ohio’s November ballot. Shields talked about a counter-proposal from a state lawmaker and how raising the minimum wage would assist Ohio workers.

Shields discussed the proposals to raise the minimum wage in Ohio to $15 an hour. One ballot measure would amend the state’s constitution and protect the new minimum wage. Unlike the proposed amendment, the second proposal comes from a lawmaker whose proposed legislation would not amend the constitution. Shields also said several workers, those with disabilities and workers who received tips, would be included in the proposed amendment but not in the lawmaker's proposal.

Shields went into greater detail about how Ohio law negatively impacts restaurant industry employees who receive tips. Along with making these workers one of the lowest-paid workers in the state, according to Shields, these workers face a higher-than-average risk of wage theft from employers. He talked about the research he’s done, including studies from 2022 that showed nearly 50 percent of all wage theft cases were coming from the restaurant industry. Ensuring these workers receive the compensation they deserve and have protections from their employers would come with the passage of the proposed amendment. 

Together, 14 states and the District of Columbia have been pushing these efforts to increase the state minimum wage. Due to rising inflation costs, these states are working to ensure the lowest paid workers can afford their necessities. He talked about the efforts in Michigan from 2018 that would have raised the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2022, but instead, the legislature amended that law and extended the minimum wage increase to 2030 and again until 2031. He said that the Ohio lawmaker’s proposal would be able to be changed like in Michigan, but the proposed Ohio amendment would ensure that the minimum wage is successfully implemented and not watered down by politicians.

Hear more about the two minimum wage proposals in Ohio by listening to the show above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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