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California minimum wage bill stalls in legislature

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

A controversial bill to increase California’s minimum wage recently failed to pass in the state Legislature. The bill would have phased in a $3 per hour increase to the minimum wage rate and also would have imposed annual cost of living increases.

In August, the California State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee decided to hold the bill rather than advance it further through the Legislature. According to a statement by the committee chair, the bill may return next year.

Senate Bill 3 would have increased the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $13.00 per hour on July 1, 2017. Beginning in 2019, the bill would have imposed an annual automatic cost of living increase.  

Currently, the minimum wage in California is $9.00 per hour.

Under existing law, the rate is scheduled to increase to $10.00 per hour beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. This increase will make California’s minimum wage one of the two highest rates in the nation. The Massachusetts minimum wage also increases to $10 per hour starting on Jan. 1. That status will be short-lived, because other states (including Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut) are scheduled to subsequently implement minimum wage rates that exceed $10.00 per hour.

A number of California cities—including Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Sunnyvale—have imposed local minimum wage ordinances that increase the rate above the state minimum.

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