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Eighteen Dollar Per Hour California Minimum Wage Initiative Fails
Jul 11, 2022

Eighteen Dollar Per Hour California Minimum Wage Initiative Fails

Topics: Wage & Hour Issues

Backed by numerous labor organizations, the ballot initiative entitled the California Living Wage Act of 2022 proposed increasing the California minimum wage over the next three years. The initiative would require California employers with 26 or more employees to pay minimum wage rates of $16 by 2023, $17 in 2024, and $18 by 2025. 

Ballot Initiative Signature Drive for 2022 Ballot Falls Short

Despite labor’s strong support, the California Living Wage Act failed to collect enough signatures by the July 7th deadline to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. Had the initiative garnished enough signatures and been voted in during the November election, small California businesses would have felt the strain of increasing labor costs as they recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjust to the changing economy. Despite this setback, the initiative’s proponents are not deterred, especially with inflation rates soaring to a new 40-year high. Proponents are expected to push for another round of signatures to qualify the initiative for the 2023 and/or 2024 ballot, which would mean employers could face a much shorter timeframe to meet the $18 minimum wage increase by 2025.

California Minimum Wage to Increase to $15.50 in January

With inflation rates exceeding 7% over the 2021 and 2022 fiscal years, California employers will now be required to increase the wage rate to $15.50 by January 1, 2023. Under California’s minimum wage law, this increase applies to all California employees, regardless of how many employees work for the business. In addition, many California municipalities have their own minimum wage ordinances/requirements, which require a wage even higher than $15.50 per hour.

CDF Labor Law will continue to monitor efforts to pass the California Living Wage Act and minimum wage developments throughout the state.  Stay tuned!!

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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