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!!