Senate Votes To Repeal Training – Youth Wage

A youth and training wage that’s below Delaware’s minimum wage is a step closer to repeal.

The State Senate Tuesday passed a bill (House Bill 88) 13-8 that sponsors said would ‘restore fairness and equity to Delaware’s labor code.’

The special wage was negotiated during an all-night session of the General Assembly three years ago to help resolve a stalemate over passage of the capital budget, or bond bill, and get the required supermajority. People under age 18 or in their first 90 days of employment could be paid 50 cents below Delaware’s minimum wage.

“The minimum wage should be just that – the absolute minimum employers are legally allowed to pay a worker for their labor,” Senator Jack Walsh, D-Stanton said. “People don’t pay different rents based on their ages. The price of a gallon of milk doesn’t change depending on how long someone has been employed. Two workers doing the exact same job should be paid the same, regardless of what month they were born or what season they were hired. I want to thank my colleagues for voting today to close this shameful and discriminatory chapter in Delaware’s history.” 

“The youth and training wage was a flawed, discriminatory policy when it was enacted, and I am extremely pleased that we are righting that wrong,” Representative Kim Williams, D-Newport added. “No longer will certain Delawareans who are just trying to earn a living be treated as a second class of workers due to their age or the date they were hired.” 

The measure to repeal the reduced wage goes to Governor John Carney for his signature.