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Wages take center stage in health care

Residents in Louisiana who work in jobs that pay minimum wage may wonder how they can make ends meet some days. Around the country, all but five states have enacted legislation to raise the minimum wage. Louisiana is one of those states. Without a state law in place mandating a higher hourly rate for minimum wage workers, the current federal level of $7.25 remains in effect. This has been the federal standard minimum wage since 2009.

The rate of pay offered to employees is obviously important to workers but, for smart employers it is also important. Paying people well can be a strong competitive advantage for companies. It can also aid not only in the recruitment but also in the retention of employees. 

As reported by The New Orleans Advocate, some health care facilities in the state have already been paying their employees wages that exceed the federally mandated minimum. At Tulane Medical Center, for example, more than 95 percent of workers make at least $12 per hour. The minimum wage at that facility is $10.50. At hospitals run by LCMC, only 430 people earn less than $12 per hour currently.

Ocshner Health System has been paying a minimum wage of $8.10 but that is set to jump to $12 per hour as of January 20, 2019. The company states that the move is based on its desire to support employees' financial well-being and provide a positive place to work. It is not known if companies outside of the health care sector may follow suit and also raise minimum wages in Louisiana.



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