‘Living wage’ bill reaches D.C. mayor’s desk

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Fifty-one days after the D.C. Council passed legislation that would require some large retailers to pay a higher minimum wage, the bill has reached the mayor’s desk for either approval or veto.

The Large Retailer Accountability Act was transmitted to Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Friday afternoon, but officials don’t expect a decision on the legislation until at least the beginning of next week after the Labor Day holiday weekend.

SEE ALSO: Wal-Mart wage bill in D.C. heads for mayor’s desk

“Attorneys and staff will take a look at the bill on Tuesday,” said Mr. Gray’s spokesman Pedro Ribeiro.

Passed by an 8-5 vote on July 10, the legislation would force retailers occupying in excess of 75,000 square feet or parent companies that gross $1 billion or more to pay their employees a minimum of $12.50 an hour in wages and benefits. The current rate is $8.25. It exempts companies with a unionized workforce.

While Mr. Gray has been questioned about his intention on the bill regularly at press events, he has not given any indication whether he will approve or veto the bill.

Tensions are high over the bill’s fate as Wal-Mart informed D.C officials that it would not build three of six proposed stores in the District and that plans for the remaining three stores could be jeopardized if the legislation becomes law.

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