There Should be a “Minimum Salary” of $50k for Salaried Employees

The same way there’s a minimum wage for hourly employees, there should be a minimum salary for salaried employees. I wrote a post on this blog stating that the minimum wage for hourly employees should be raised to fifteen or even twenty dollars an hour. While still underpaid, full time hourly employees at least get paid for every hour worked. They receive overtime when eligible. Salaried employees are often expected to work fifty or sixty hours per week and receive only their agreed to salaries. They receive bonuses when applicable, but that isn’t generally the case for younger, salaried employees.

Managers, directors and vice presidents understand that when they accept their roles, they’ll often be working greater than forty hours per week. And many, if not most, are well compensated. However, in the year 2023, there shouldn’t be a single corporation paying someone with a four-year University or College degree, less than fifty thousand per year. That would be the guaranteed minimum starting salary. When I see job listings in the thirties and even forties, it blows my mind. It’s not dissimilar to what I received when graduating from Macy*s executive training program in the late 1980’s.

Of course, in the late eighties, my wife and I were paying six hundred-fifty dollars a month rent, for a two-bedroom apartment, with the use of the backyard, one hundred feet from the water. Gas was one dollar per gallon and the overall cost of living was so much less expensive. In a city like New York or San Francisco, there’s no possible way that someone earning even fifty thousand dollars can afford to live there. That’s the reason so many younger people require two and three roommates to afford a place to live. That’s completely unacceptable.

Companies should be embarrassed to offer such meager salaries when executives are often receiving multi-million-dollar bonuses, even in unprofitable years. This needs to change immediately. Just like pre-pandemic, when no one would have been able to imagine employees working remotely or a hybrid schedule, we need to reimagine compensation for salaried employees. Let me repeat, no one with a four-year university degree should receive less than fifty thousand dollars as compensation. It would make it a little easier for employees to pay back college loans. If a corporation can’t afford to pay $50k as a starting salary in 2023, it’s either doing something wrong, or it doesn’t value its employees.

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