Maine, Iowa move to boost, protect minimum wage. Most businesses won’t even notice.

Legislators in Maine and Iowa are taking new steps to improve and protect wages for workers. And most businesses may not even notice the difference.

The Maine House and Senate approved a bill raising the state’s $7 hourly minimum wage by a half dollar (though additional votes are set on the measure in both legislative chambers).

The Iowa Senate took a different tack, approving a bill that increases fines on employers who violate wage laws, crack down on the practice of misclassifying employees as “independent contractors” to evade those laws, and protect workers reporting violations from retaliation.

This while according to a recent survey, the majority of small businesses (51 percent) don’t even know what the minimum wage is in their state – and a large majority (70 percent) support increasing the national minimum wage.

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