Sinclair to raise minimum hourly wage to $15

Sinclair to raise minimum hourly wage to $15
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Sinclair Broadcast Group on Wednesday announced plans to increase its minimum wage to $15 per hour, a move that will affect 15 percent of its workforce.

The new policy will go into effect on Dec. 29 and will affect company workers whose pay is tied to state and federal laws, the company said. Sinclair touted the change as part of a broader effort to improve benefits for employees.

"With this latest change, we hope to make a meaningful impact on the professional and personal lives of so many valuable members of our team," Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO, said in a press release announcing the policy.

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The federal minimum wage is $7.25, though many states have passed legislation that sets it at a higher rate. California, Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey are among several states that have passed laws to incrementally increase the minimum wage until it hits $15 in the next few years.

The House earlier this year passed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. But the bill, which passed with largely Democratic support, is unlikely to go anywhere in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Sinclair is one of the country's largest broadcast media companies, operating 191 television stations in 89 markets and 23 regional sports networks.

The company has dealt with bouts of controversy over the past year and a half, including when clips of network anchors reading the same statement went viral.

"Last Week Tonight" on HBO and other media observers also criticized the company over "must-run" political commentary segments hosted by Boris Epshteyn, a former adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE's 2016 campaign.

The company announced last week that it would drop those segments and that Epshteyn would move into a sales role within the company as the network focuses more on local news.

A planned merger between Sinclair and Tribune Media fell through last year.

Updated at 5:26 p.m.