Is this a great time for America’s low-income workers? The jury is definitely still out on that question. On the one hand, laws raising the minimum wages and guaranteeing paid sick leave helped many wage-earners inch ahead in 2017. However, following the passage of the GOP tax plan, it became clear the average American worker would not benefit much.
In fact, some corporations are determined to pay for any wage increases with cuts in other areas. Maybe employees would no longer receive promised benefits, or their coworkers would no longer have a job. Or perhaps the burgers they serve would simply cost more for customers now that employees earned more.
While Americans should be happy some workers will no longer need welfare programs with full-time jobs, layoffs and store closings might put them back on that old government support. Even with higher wages and some small bonuses coming from U.S. corporate headquarters, many employers are fighting back in other ways.
Here are the ugliest ways corporations are shortchanging employees to compensate for higher wages.
1. Cutting health benefits in half
The owners of several Tim Hortons franchises had a curious response to a minimum wage hike. Shortly after the higher wages went into effect, employees got a letter saying their health insurance benefits would be cut in half. Employees with fewer than five years or more at the company would receive even less in health care benefits. Oh, and employees would no longer have paid breaks.
But who would do such a thing? Actually, it was the children of Tim Hortons founder. While other franchisees continued offering benefits, the most well-off of the bunch decided to start a backlash that affected the company’s most vulnerable employees.
Next: If your cashiers are robots, you won’t need to pay for health insurance.