Supported by numerous labor organizations, the ballot initiative titled the California Living Wage Act of 2022 proposed to raise California’s 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 strong union support, the California Living Wage Act failed to garner enough signatures by the July 7 deadline to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. passed in the November election, California small businesses would have felt the pressure of rising labor costs as they recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and adapt to the development of the economy. Despite this setback, proponents of the initiative are undeterred, especially with inflation rates hitting a new 40-year high. Supporters 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 deadline to meet the minimum wage increase of $18 by 2025.
California’s minimum wage will rise to $15.50 in January
With inflation rates exceeding 7% in fiscal years 2021 and 2022, California employers will now be required to raise the wage rate to $15.50 by January 1, 2023. Under California law on minimum wage, this increase applies to all California employees, regardless of how many employees work for the company. Additionally, many California municipalities have their own minimum wage ordinances/requirements, which require wages 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 statewide. Stay tuned!!