California First in the Nation To Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

On Monday, April 4, California became the first state in the country to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour statewide.  The current state minimum wage is $10 an hour.

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $10.50 on January 1, 2017, $11 on January 1, 2018, and then a $1 increase each year until 2022 when the minimum wage will reach $15.  After 2022, the minimum wage will be tied to inflation.  The legislation gives the governor the power to pause the next year's wage increase each September for recessions or job downturns.  The bill also allows employers with 25 employees or less more time to comply with the pay increases.  This law applies to all employees in California, except federal employees.

The minimum-wage bill also extends paid sick days to in-home supportive service (“IHSS”) workers.  IHSS workers will accrue an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked.  Implementation of these sick days begins in July 2018.

The California governor acknowledged this legislative deal comes in response to labor-sponsored initiatives to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2021 proposed for the November ballot, and the Fight for $15 movement.  “One of the sources, certainly, is the way the average American is being treated by this particular economy,” Brown said. “Economics is about dollars and cents, it’s very mechanical, it’s rather heartless. Justice is about giving people their due.”

We will keep you updated on developments about this historic legislation and achievement for working people.

By Anthony Tucci | April 5, 2016

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