Home > Uncategorized > Wendy’s: I see your $15/hr Min. Wage and Raise you 6000 Kiosks

Wendy’s: I see your $15/hr Min. Wage and Raise you 6000 Kiosks

Happy Monday, dear, beloved readers!

Your humble blogger brings you another post today about the changing nature of the workers’ compensation climate for California.

In news that has enraged Facebook Social Justice Warriors and delighted those suffering from social anxiety that spend several minutes rehearsing their order before facing the cashiers at their favorite fast-food place, Wendy’s president Todd Penegor announced that all 6000 restaurants will have automated kiosks available to them in the second half of 2016.  This comes on the heels of news that California will be increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2022, which, legal experts report, will not apply to “kiosk rights.”  At present, kiosks, robots, droids, and drones will continue to operate at a minimum wage of $0, saving employers at least $15 per hour in wages.  Next up – kiosks will form a union and demand organic oil and solar-sourced electricity.

In any case, Wendy’s is not the only one moving this way.  Carl’s Jr. CEO, Andy Puzder, reportedly has been saber-rattling regarding automating the Carl’s Jr. workforce in the face of minimum wage hikes.

What does this mean for California?  What does this mean for workers’ compensation participants?  Well, for one thing, it looks like the labor pool will shrink – if human jobs are being eliminated, those humans will have one of two choices: stop working in California or work in a field that has not been automated yet.  Of course, for many people, one of those or the other is not a viable option.

For us in the industry, that means fewer employees, smaller policy premiums, fewer injured workers, and smaller demand for our services.  Hopefully, for all of us as Californians that means the cost of goods we purchase will go down (hope springs eternal, dear readers).

Nor are societies most worshipped and beloved workers, the lawyers, safe from all this automation.  Joining the fast-food workers in the unemployment line will be the bright young attorneys being replaced by software.  As EliteDaily reports, some firms are purchasing “artificial intelligence” lawyers to conduct basic research, cite-checking, and possibly drafting.  Although you’ll still need a warm body to do your depositions, hearings, and trials, the creep of technology is slowly starting to threaten even the sacred cow of legal practitioners.

Be advised, dear readers, that we may one day find ourselves in a futuristic fantasy world, where all are blessed with plenty and none are cursed with labor, but between then and now there is going to be a whole lot of strife, and insurers in particular need to prepare for the possible decrease in demand for coverage.  Fewer jobs; fewer workers; fewer injuries; fewer [workers’ comp industry] jobs.  As Disney taught us, it’s the circle of life.

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  1. May 16th, 2016 at 08:09 | #1

    And higher TD rates!

    (Of course, the dollar rate will be higher, but the purchasing power will be diminished. Welcome, mass inflaction.)

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