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Business Observer Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022 8 months ago

Tampa lighting firm raises its minimum wage to $20 per hour

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Volt Lighting says state’s $10/hour requirement is not a living wage.

TAMPA — Volt Lighting, a maker of indoor and outdoor lighting products and systems, has raised its minimum hourly wage to $20, saying Florida’s $10/hour minimum wage requirement is not sufficient to sustain workers and families amid rapidly rising inflation.

In a news release, the Tampa-based company — which has distribution centers in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and Nevada — says it made the change not only to support its workers, but to improve their productivity and the company’s overall culture.

"We don't think full-time employees should be living so close to the poverty line," Volt Lighting founder and CEO Alan Brynjolfsson states in the release. "Inflation is causing real estate, gas, and food costs to rise; wages need to follow the trend. When employees are not distracted by making ends meet, they can focus on creating a better culture in the workplace and providing a better experience for customers."

Volt officials say the firm also offers a generous benefits package, with health, dental and vision insurance, 401K with company match, 12 paid holidays plus two weeks of personal time off and holiday bonus.

"This salary increase allows me the opportunity to provide a better life for my family and be a better father,” Volt warehouse associate Antonio Stephens states in the release. “Making $20 an hour changes how I see myself long-term here. It is not waiting years down the line to get just a $1 raise each year. I already feel years invested and never want to leave."

The 2022 Federal Poverty Guideline in the United States for a family unit of two people is $18,310 annual salary or $8.80 an hour, according to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. While Florida's minimum wage is $10 per hour, the federal minimum wage is even paltrier — just $7.25 per hour.

"Volt's mission is to deliver such an outstanding experience that our customers become our best advocates," Brynjolfsson states in the release. "Part of the way we achieve this success is by making sure we take care of our employees so that they take care of our customers."

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