Minimum Wage

The movie theatre industry is a leader in employing young first-time job holders, as well as individuals with disabilities and elderly persons seeking to supplement their income – workforce demographics that generally have difficulty finding employment in the current economy. Latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the nation’s teen unemployment rate hovers around 20 percent—more than three times the national unemployment rate.

NATO opposes federally-mandated increases in minimum wage that would stifle the nation’s economic growth and have negative consequences on businesses, workers, and consumers. A one-size-fits-all wage hike that does not take into account regional economic and cost-of-living disparities could force employers to implement policies that would negatively impact employees through reduced staffing and benefits. Minimum wage hikes also have the unintended consequence of increasing competition for entry-level jobs, making it difficult for low-skilled and young workers to find employment and receive “on-the-job” training necessary to command higher pay.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 could cost half a million jobs. Read the CBO’s report by clicking here.

A number of bills raising the federal minimum wage have been introduced in the 114th Congress, but no progress on these bills has been made thus far. NATO continues to monitor this legislation.  Members are encouraged to take action and write to their elected officials via NATO’s advocacy portal, accessible by clicking the “NATO Advocacy” tab to the left or clicking here.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. In his 2014 State of the Union address, the president endorsed a higher minimum wage of $10.10. In February 2014, he issued Executive Order 13658 requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees at least $10.10 an hour. The Department of Labor issued Proposed Rules carrying out the Executive Order in June 2014.


In March 2014, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Labor (DOL) to rewrite its regulations on overtime.  Overtime requirements may apply to the wait staff of movie theaters that also offer restaurant-style dining.  Among the possible changes being considered by the DOL are raising the salary threshold of employees who qualify for overtime and redefining who is considered to be in a managerial role.

The DOL’s proposed rule was made public on July 6, 2015 and is available in full by clicking here.

Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published updated enforcement guidelines on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace. The guidelines also address pregnancy-related issues, such as nursing mothers, and suggest best practices for employers to adopt in order to comply with existing law.

The full guidance is available by clicking here.


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