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IN THE NEWS: Rep. Braun called out for bogus claim on worker pay

INDIANAPOLIS – A new report from WBND in South Bend showed that Rep. Braun’s false claim that he pays “nearly double the minimum wage for new hires” is “not necessarily true,” highlighting numerous jobs on Meyer Distributing’s website that pay well below double Indiana’s $7.25 minimum wage – and in some cases even less than he’s required to by the State of Indiana.

Rep. Braun frequently touts this claim, but as the report notes, he never mentions that his company is a recipient of a tax credit that already requires him to pay his employees three-quarters of double the minimum wage. Even then, Rep. Braun still failed to pay his workers what he’s required to under the terms of the tax credit. In fact, Rep. Braun has jobs listed on his company’s website that pay $11 an hour, roughly 25% less than what he claims he pays, and even less than the $11.12 per hour minimum requirement of the IEDC.

Rep. Braun’s claim is especially insulting when you consider he’s claiming $11 is nearly double the minimum wage. Someone making $11 an hour working 40 hours per week makes less than $23,000 annually, whereas someone making double Indiana’s minimum wage makes more than $29,100 annually – a difference of more than $6,200 a year.

From WBND TV-57: Does Mike Braun pay his employees nearly double the minimum wage?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — the latest TV spot to hit the airwaves is touting Mike Braun’s business record.

But is it accurate?

“Mike Braun pays nearly double the minimum wage starting out,” said the narrator in one ad.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, minimum wage in the Hoosier state is $7.25/hr, double that would be $14.50/hr.

One of the lowest paying jobs listed was a warehouse operator.

That job paid $11/hr, $3.50 less than double the minimum wage.

Another was for a sales assistant position that paid up to $12/hour, about $1.50 less than double the minimum wage.

The posting specifies the employee could make that much based on previous work, so a less experienced candidate could make even less the promoted $12/hour for that job.

So Braun’s claim of paying his employees nearly double the minimum wage is… not necessarily true for new hires if they lacked experience.

There was something none of the ads mentioned that is relevant to his wage claims about the company.

Back in 2012, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and Meyer Distributing entered an Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) 10-year agreement.

It’s a tax credit worth $800,000 for the company.

Some of the terms to the agreement include staffing at least 189 positions, adding 109 new jobs committing to paying employees the minimum wage of $11.12/hr.

“Not only has Rep. Braun been sued repeatedly by former employees for failing to pay the minimum wage, but also faced discipline for a laundry list of workplace violations, all while raking in $18 million in profits last year alone,” said Michael Feldman, a spokesman for the Indiana Democratic Party. “He conveniently ignores that he’s already required by the terms of his IEDC grant to pay three-quarters of double the minimum wage — and even then, he still fails to pay what’s required. His whopping exaggeration is just another instance of a man willing to say anything to get elected while doing everything he can to pad his own wallet.”

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