Minimum wage difference divides mall - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Minimum wage difference divides mall

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The minimum wage is higher on the San Jose side of the mall than it is on the Santa Clara side, causing problems for those hiring and retaining workers. (Source: KXTV/CNN) The minimum wage is higher on the San Jose side of the mall than it is on the Santa Clara side, causing problems for those hiring and retaining workers. (Source: KXTV/CNN)
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SAN JOSE, CA (KXTV/CNN) - There's nothing extraordinary about the Westfield Valley Fair Mall. It has the same food, the same displays but it lies within two different cities.

"When we offered people jobs, they would say, 'Well, we got jobs on the other side of the mall,'" Juan Luna, store manager at Shoe Palace, said.

Luna said the tale of two cities caused problems they never saw coming. There's nothing marking the dividing line, but property records very clearly show the mall sits in both San Jose and Santa Clara, cities with different minimum wages.

"We were going through the hiring process, and then we would let them know it's $8 an hour. They were like, 'Really, the mall over there gets paid $10,'" Luna said.

The dividing line between the two cities is near the GAP and Lush Cosmetics. Both are paying their employees the higher wage to keep things fair.

The wage gap closed a little in July when Santa Clara upped the minimum wage from $8 to $9 an hour, but San Jose went up to $10.15 an hour.

Wetzel's Pretzels is in a unique predicament, having two stores on opposite sides of the mall. So management rotates employees.

There is no solution for others, so Luna and the rest of those on the west side will continue losing employees while having problems hiring more.

"He was working at the same on the other side of the mall, and he just quit because he was getting paid more over there," he said. "Now we let them (know) on the front end, this is the $8 side. Don't expect $10."

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