Following in the footsteps of San Francisco, the city of San Jose is considering raising the minimum wage for all work performed in the city limits to $10 an hour, with automatic annual increases based on inflation (consumer price increase). The Council will vote on the proposed ordinance Tuesday, May 22. If you have employees who are working in San Jose and wish to be heard on this issue, contact information for the City Council members is available here, and you can email or call them in advance of the vote.
Even if this measure fails, the minimum wage issue in San Jose is not dead. A group of San Jose State University students received enough petition signatures to put the measure on the November ballot. Thus, the citizens of San Jose will have a second opportunity to enact a higher minimum wage for San Jose employees in November when they go to the ballot box.
For restaurant, retail and other businesses in San Jose that employ workers at or near the minimum wage level, you will want to keep an eye on these developments. Of course, we will continue to keep you informed.
In addition, because this effort was spearheaded by local college students at SJSU, it is getting a lot of media attention and social networking discussion. If successful, it is very likely that other college students will use this as a model and similar attempts to raise the local minimum wage will increase in the coming months and years, particularly if the state minimum wage remains at $8 per hour and the economy and job market for college students remains difficult. Thus, the success of this proposal may have much broader implications than just for those doing business in the city of San Jose.