The Wall Street Journal: This App Helps Businesses Join the Minimum Wage Debate
The Wall Street Journal: This App Helps Businesses Join the Minimum Wage Debate

The “Wage Engage” app allows users to easily contact their representatives to explain how their businesses will be affected by higher minimum wages.

The latest weapon in the battle to block legislation that would boost minimum wages: an app to arm small businesses across America with alerts about state proposals.

With the push of a few buttons, the mobile interface will enable them to identify and send their respective lawmakers personalized form letters. The goal is to get businesses to detail how higher pay floors would damage their businesses and affect workers and the economy.

Dreamed up by the right-leaning Employment Policies Institute and developed by app-creation company Red Foundry, the “Wage Engage” app being unveiled Thursday takes the minimum-wage fight online, deploying a technological tool in the clash over whether employers should be able to set their own pay floors or be required to meet minimums set by others.

Other wage-focused apps have been popping up to help women narrow gender-pay gaps with men who earn more for similar work, an issue drawing increasing attention from White House officials and corporate executives, and on the campaign trail. At a White House Event in July, several apps were unveiled to educate women about pay differences in their fields and help them negotiate higher salaries. The event was the culmination of a two-month “hackathon” involving tech companies and data enthusiasts.

Boosting minimum wages is more straightforward because unlike gender-pay gaps, they’re fully transparent. States and cities can go higher than the federal pay floor if they garner support, though bills have popped up to try to ban some cities from raising their minimums above the state level.

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