California Congresswoman: Minimum Wage Should Be $26 An Hour

Nationwide, cities, states, and even the federal government are considering and passing minimum wage hikes to protect low-wage workers and to meet contemporary financial needs. Though California’s minimum wage is slated to go up in July, other legislators are considering more aggressive hikes to support California workers. During an interview on CNN’s Crossfire, U.S. Representative Barbara Lee said that the minimum wage in California should be set at $26.00 an hour.
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The minimum wage arguments have extended beyond cities, states and even the U.S. federal government. In Switzerland, a recent vote was held to raise the minimum wage to $25.00 an hour. The plan was rejected, however, the push towards minimum wage hikes demonstrates a general movement in favor of raising wages and the standard of living for the lowest paid workers in industrialized nations. Our Orange County wage and hour attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic counsel and advocacy to employees throughout our community and statewide. We are abreast of legal developments and are committed to keeping workers informed of their rights.

Minimum wage hikes have faced GOP resistance. Business lobbyists have argued that the minimum wage law is a setback that could result in more unemployment. Those in support of raising minimum wages see the shift as a way to help low-income workers meet base needs and have hope for a future. Activists admit that one or two extra dollars an hour would never send these workers into an upper-middle class income bracket, but it could be the necessary shift to simply make ends meet. Nationwide, cities, states and the federal government have recognized that old minimum pay rates do not equal the rate of inflation. This has left America’s lowest paid barely hovering above the poverty line. In many instances, these workers are left far below the line of poverty, making it difficult or impossible to ever get ahead.

Starting on July 1, 2014, workers and employees can expect minimum wage to go up to $9.00 an hour in California. For California’s workers, the additional income will give families more access and freedom when buying groceries, gas and other necessities. The new minimum wage laws will affect, not only hourly workers, but will impact the way that employers are able to classify their employees based on California’s overtime requirements. Under the new law, California employers must make a salary at least two times the minimum wage to be considered exempt.

Currently, California minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. Any exempt employees must make at least $37,440 to be considered exempt after July 1, 2014. Employers should also be aware that beginning in January, the minimum wage will go up to $10.00 an hour and all exempt employees must be paid at least $41,600. The Wage Theft Protection Act, enacted in 2012, will also require all employers to provide employees with a written notice containing specific wage and company information as well as wage rates.

Of course, all employers must be up-to-date on legislation that impacts payroll, but employees should also stay tuned to legislative developments so that they can protect themselves. As California legislators work to improve wages and working conditions for employees, it is important to stay abreast of these changes so that you can take legal action in the event of a violation.

Costa Mesa employment lawsuits can be filed with the help of the Nassiri Law Group. Call 714-937-2020.

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