In Focus: California Nears Deal to Adopt a $15 State Minimum Wage

By Joanne Deschenaux Mar 28, 2016
California lawmakers have reached a tentative deal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. If approved, California would become the first state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage. 

Under the tentative California deal, the wage, which was raised to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, would increase incrementally over the next six years, until reaching $15 in 2022. Small businesses would have an extra year to comply. 

(The New York Times

Municipalities Have Already Acted; New York May Be Next State 

Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco have all opted to phase in $15-an-hour minimum wages in coming years.

States appear to be the next battleground. Lawmakers in New York are in advanced discussions to bring that state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, from $9 now. Gov.  Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is trying to include a vote in the Legislature on the measure as part of the state’s budget, due April 1, although details are still under negotiation.

(The Wall Street Journal

Oregon Governor Signs Landmark Minimum Wage Law 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on March 2 signed a landmark minimum-wage law that makes the state the first in the nation to mandate higher pay in cities than in rural areas. 

The law will enact a series of minimum-wage increases through 2022 with the pay hike set to reach $14.75 an hour in Portland—one of the highest minimum-wage rates in the nation. Minimum wage will increase to $12.50 in sparsely populated rural areas, and $13.50 in other rural parts of the state. Oregon’s current minimum wage is $9.25 an hour; the first hike kicks in July 1. 

(SHRM Online

Joanne Deschenaux, J.D., is SHRM’s senior legal editor. 


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