Should employees of licensed locksmith shops be paid prevailing wages?
One of the excuses from many who sought to impose licensing was to "raise the bar" of what they perceived as the need for greater professionalism and the ability to charge higher prices for services. However, the pay scale of the employees working for these people has not increased. Given the requirements an employee must now do to maintain or meet the criteria of a license to continue to work, the question as to why their salary has not been elevated to reflect prevailing wage has to be asked. In most cases when an employer services certain commercial work, public schools, local, state or federal buildings they are required by law to bid at prevailing wage to that of a carpenter or equivalent which is in the average range of $25+/- per hour.
Are you as an employee receiving your fair wages with the licensing requirements you now have?
Have you ever had your pay reflect such work in the past?
The fact is that many hardworking locksmiths who are employed are being exploited. Those who have used the excuse of "raising the bar" are raising their prices, obtaining bids where their business is paid at prevailing wage, yet they continue to pay their employees sub-standard wages.
If those who continue to force unwanted licensing upon the locksmith industry look upon it as improving conditions for their businesses or their image, then one would think that would also apply to the employees wages and standard of living.
The United States Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics provides some very compelling employment and wage information that all employees of licensed locksmith businesses should examine and bring back to their employers. There are no provisions to indicate employment or wages that are regulated under a locksmith license. This new occupational requirement certainly adds more worth according to those promoting licensing, so why should that worth not translate into a benefit for the employee in a wage increase?
That fact is many locksmith employees are being exploited and are underpaid. Although many businesses offer incentives or a sales bonus, many simply do not pay their employees to scale even when they are billing out at prevailing wage. The employees who are now being forced to maintain an occupational license are being cheated and should see their wages increased immediately.
Rumor has it that one locksmith owner petitioned an industry trade magazine to stop posting help wanted ads that reflected the hourly wage being offered. He was upset that his staff was reading these want ads and seeing that other companies were offering far more then he was and he did not want these employees learning that they had better opportunities elsewhere. If this person was actually paying a fair wage, he would not have to worry about his employees leaving his employment!
Compare your wage and post them here! You can send them to the SOPL and we can post it for you if you desire anonymity for fear of retaliation from your employer.
Learn more about your rights from the National Labor Relations Board.
Do you think employees of a licensed locksmith business should receive higher wages or prevailing wage?
Let's hear from you!
Tom Lynch, CRL