The South Dakota Legislature is changing the voter approved minimum wage bill  during this session.  At least two bills have been introduced. The first effort dealt with the possibility that deflation will happen, allowing for a lowering of the voter approved minimum. That bill failed.

SB 177 is the effort to separate the wage paid to someone under 18 from the recent voter approved minimum of $8.50 per hour to $7.50 an hour. It has passed the Senate and as of this writing is awaiting approval in the House.

The list of sponsors for this bill is long. Tourism/recreation businesses will benefit with lower wage costs if this bill becomes law.

Should the work performed by a teenager be considered less valuable than the work done by an adult?

If I get a tourism/recreation summer job as an adult, I would make at least $8.50 per hour. The young person working next to me doing the same job would make a dollar less an hour, even though our work experience at that job may be the same.

Many businesses hire new employees and pay what is called a training wage. Upon satisfactory completion of the training, the wage goes up. That makes sense to most people. But the training wage is not based on age. It is based on knowledge and experience or the lack thereof.

Nationally, there is acknowledged wage discrimination between men and women in the work place. Could the passage of SB177 set up age discrimination issues between  those under and over 18?