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On January 1, 2022, employers in California once again experienced an annual increase in the statewide living wage. Larger employers reached the state’s goal of $15 per hour, while smaller employers are now at $14 an hour and will have one more increase next January to reach $15. 

The goal of the past several years has been to get the state-mandated base pay up to $15 for all employees, and this will be achieved come 2023. However, a ballot initiative has been proposed to the Attorney General’s office to continue raising the minimum wage to $18 per hour, with gradual increases through 2025. 

If you receive minimum wage for your work, your employer should always be in full compliance with the many increases that occur for the state and specific localities. If you have concerns about your minimum wage, speak with a wage lawyer about your situation and options. 

Minimum Wage in CA is going up: The Living Wage Act of 2022

The initiative is titled the Living Wage Act of 2022, and voters might have the chance to decide whether or not they want to continue increasing the minimum wage for all of California. Currently, several localities already have higher living wages set than the statewide requirement. The West Hollywood city council recently approved a $17.64 per hour wage within the city, and Emeryville has the minimum set at $17.13, which was the highest in the United States for a period of time. No city has a minimum wage of $18, so if the initiative passes the vote, it will be the highest living wage goal across the country. 

The proponents of the Living Wage Act of 2022 cite financial struggles due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the basis for the initiative. Costs of living have increased throughout all areas of California, and many people lost a significant amount of income due to the pandemic. Continuing to increase the living wage will help California families to afford proper housing and other necessities.

Related reading: https://www.maralawfirm.com/minimum-wage-and-overtime-in-california-2022/

For employers with more than 25 employees, the proposed increases would be:

  1. 2023 = from $15 to $16 per hour
  2. 2024 = from $16 to $17 per hour
  3. 2025 = from $17 to $18 per hour

For employers with 25 or fewer employees, it would be:

  1. 2023 = from $14 to $15 per hour
  2. 2024 = from $15 to $16 per hour
  3. 2025 = from $16 to $17 per hour
  4. 2026 = from $17 to $18 per hour

This initiative has not yet made the ballot, as proponents still need to submit the required one million signatures and take other steps by June 2022. Anyone working in California should stay aware of possible changes to minimum wage laws, so they know what their rights are as employees.

Consult with a California Minimum Wage Lawyer Today

As the minimum wage increases, some employers fail to comply with the changing laws. If you believe you are not being paid what you deserve under the law, speak with the legal team at Mara Law Firm. Contact us to learn how we can stand up for your wage rights. 

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