When Maryland raised its living wage, executives at IMPAQ International decided to act.
In June the firm adopted a living wage for all employees at its Columbia call center, which exceeds the state minimum wage by more than $5 per hour.
The public-policy research firm is now paying employees at the center at least $13.39 per hour, a wage the company says allows a person working 40 hours a week enough to cover living, transportation and health expenses, as well as recreation and continuing education.
IMPAQ President Avi Benus said the move affected 59 employees and costs the company an additional $100,000 annually.
“We believe that our results should be measured in decency, rather than dollars,” he said.
Now, Benus said he hopes that the industry will follow IMPAQ’s lead.
“Anything we can do to help retain and help develop people, it’s not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense,” he said. “We’re hoping in the long run it reaps greater rewards.”