Saturday, March 04, 2006

Wal-Mart Should Pay Fair Share

Maryland's "Fair Share" bill which forces employers with more than 10,000 employees to spend, at the very least, 8 percent of their payroll to pay for employee’s healthcare or pay a fine into that state's health care fund, is catching on with other states. Wal-Mart was the only employer affected in Maryland's health care mandate law.

Minnesota, for example, is now trying to push through a bill that would force employers with more than 10,000 employees to spend a minimum of 10% of their payroll to pay for employee’s healthcare. In the state of Minnesota, 19,000 people are employed by Wal-Mart.

The supporters of this bill argue that Wal-Mart doesn’t pay its employees enough, thus forcing their employees on to government funded healthcare programs. A labor-funded group in Minnesota pushing the legislation estimates that Minnesota spends $14 million dollars on Wal-Mart employees in state medical assistance.

Wal-Mart, of course, is challenging this and so far has been fairly successful. Maryland, where the bill originated is the only state it has passed so far.

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