CALIFORNIA’S MOVE TO PASS THE HIGHEST MINIMUM WAGE IN THE NATION « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Bill to Push Minimum to $11.00, $12.00, then $13.00 per Hour Is Halfway Through the Legislature

 As earlier reported, California’s minimum hourly wage will rise to $9.00 on July 1, 2014 and to $10.00 on January 1, 2016, thus ranking among the highest in the country. See, California Minimum Wage Increasing and Amended Minimum Wage Notice Must Be Posted by July 1, 2014.  The California Senate aims to place the state at number one in the nation, recently passing a measure to accelerate the minimum to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2015, to $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2016, and to $13.00 on January 1, 2017.

If in current form it successfully navigates the Assembly and is signed into law by Governor Brown, Senate Bill 935 is intended to “stimulate the economy and combat poverty and the decline of California’s middle class.”  The measure’s opponents include the California Chamber of Commerce, viewing these prospective increases as a “job killer”, saying “The bill unfairly increases employer costs by increasing the minimum wage to $13 by 2017 and then increased thereafter according to the Consumer Price Index.”

This is one of several related developments nationally.  A move earlier this year to increase the federal minimum from $7.25 per hour stalled and is not expected to revive before this fall’s mid-term elections.  On the other hand, a number of major municipalities have passed “prevailing wage” ordinances setting minimums above their state’s standards.  San Francisco’s minimum is now $10.74 per hour, San Jose’s is currently $10.00.  Departing from Washington state’s current $9.32 per hour standard (currently the nation’s highest,) the City of Seattle is raising its minimum in increments, starting with $10.00 on April 1, 2015 and in 2017 will begin phasing in $15.00.

Stay tuned and we will keep you posted on the fate of Senate Bill 935.