Shreveport Business Owner Talks About Upcoming Minimum Wage Increase

Business owner Dorothy Figlio has been running Figlo's Coffee House in Shreveport for about three years now.

She says when she first opened her business she experienced some obstacles, "Finding employees was difficult. Then, when you find a good employee, you would loose them to someone else because they would offer them a better rate of pay" says Dorothy.

Dorothy says she quickly discovered a way around that, now paying her employees well above the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.

Figlo's empolyee Janie Cummings says, "I think that's good. I think it's hard to make it today. It's expensive and you need more than $5.15 per hour.

In less than a week all minimum wage employees will earn a little more.

Louisiana Department of Labor worker Jacques Lasseigne says this is the first time in more than a decade the government has approved a federal minimum wage increase. "Congress passed it and the President signed the federal minimum wage law recently" says Lasseigne.

On July 24th the federal minimum wage increases from $5.15 per hour to $5.85.

In 2008 the federal minimum wage increases to $6.55 per hour and in 2009 to $7.25 per hour.

While Dorothy already pays her employees well above the current minimum wage she says the increase can be tough on some small business owners, "When you have to match your social security wage, that's a higher percentage I have to pay there, my workers comp, if it goes over a certain amount my premium will increase" but Dorothy adds when it comes to workers she has learned you get what you pay for.

Story by: Najahe Hall