Minimum Wage Increases in Delaware - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Minimum Wage Increases in Delaware

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SEAFORD, Del. - At Pizza King in Seaford, the staff faced a typical lunchtime rush Monday afternoon. And at the center of it all was 17-year old Jenna Espenlauv, working at the take-out counter. As June begins, she will be working the same 45-hour week as usual. However she'll be receiving a little more for her time. 

In Delaware, Monday marked the start of an increase in the minimum wage from $7.75 to $8.25.

"It's exciting," she said. "It really is. Because I pay my own bills and stuff like that. So to get a little bit more an hour... That's exciting." 

The change is the result of a bill, sponsored by Wilmington Democrat Sen. Robert Marshall, which passed through the General Assembly last year. Co-manager at Pizza King Natasha Kellam said that there are good and bad aspects to the change. 

"Everything has it's pros and cons," she said. "The pros of it is that the minimum wage goes up and the kids make more money... And the cons is that for the businesses themselves, they have to make ends meet and cover costs of living as well."

The new level of $8.25 compares to a federal minimum wage of $7.25. In Maryland, the wage is currently $8.00 but will increase to $8.25 on July 1st, and will then jump to $10.10 by 2018. In Virginia, the minimum wage matches the federal level at $7.25.

In Georgetown at Manlove Auto Parts, Manager Gloria Holt echoed the sentiment at Pizza King. She said the Georgetown location has three employees on minimum wage, working a total of approximately 90 hours per week. At this level, Holt said the increase would cost the business approximately $2,300 per year.

Holt said that she personally is in favor of the increase, but said there is good reason for a larger business to be concerned.

"You're talking about $2,300 per three employees per place," she said. "That's a lot of money to be paying out. Something's going to have to happen to equal it out somewhere."

Marshall is currently seeking an even larger increase. Earlier this year, he submitted a bill that would increase the state's minimum wage to $10.25 by 2019.

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