2 Virginia hospital systems pledge $15-an-hour wage by 2022

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Two major hospital systems in Virginia say they’ll raise the wages of their lowest-paid workers to $15 an hour. That amounts to about $31,000 a year.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that Sentara Healthcare and Bon Secours Mercy Health have each pledged pay increases by 2022.

The hospital systems in Hampton Roads are joining other large employers across the nation who are increasing workers’ compensation. They include online retailer Amazon, which faced criticism that many of the company’s workers had relied on food stamps and other benefits.

The federally mandated minimum wage has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009. But many states and cities have passed laws to raise wages on their own as well.

Last year, Virginia lawmakers tried but failed to pass legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

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