The date is July 1, 2014. For some, it is just another day. Falling on a Tuesday, a lot of people might be instead looking forward for the Fourth of July celebrations that will be happening over the weekend. But for a lot of Californians, July 1, 2014 is a big deal, a day that is something to look forward to especially for those who earn wages and salaries. On that day, California will experience a very significant change in terms of its minimum wage, a first since January 1, 2008.
Starting July 1, 2014, California’s minimum wage will be increased by a dollar, thanks to Governor Edmund “Jerry” Brown’s approval of Assembly Bill 10, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas). Signed into law September 25, 2013, the bill amended the state’s Labor Code to increase the minimum wage in two phases.
The first phase is expected to take effect next week, in which the state’s minimum wage rate will be increased from the current $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. The second phase of the wage increase indicated on the bill would further add another dollar to the wage rate, making it $10.00 per hour. This, however, would take effect on the first day of 2016.
The last time the state government increased California’s minimum wage rate happened on January 1, 2008, in which the rate rose from $7.50 to $8.00.
Non-exempt employees in California aren’t only the ones who will be affected by the change that will occur next week. Under the wage orders from the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) of the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), exempt employees—those whose work are classified as executive, professional, or administrative—must be paid a salary that is less than twice the prevailing minimum wage. Starting Tuesday next week, exempt workers in California are to be paid based on an annual salary of not less than $37,440.
The new minimum wage rate in California is expected to create a great, if not lasting, impact for both employees and businesses. Whether it is a positive or negative impact remains to be seen. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles labor lawyer explains that in line with the expected changes, it is imperative for employers to consider displaying posters about the $9.00 per hour increase inside the prominent areas of the workplace for the benefit of their workers. They must also provide updated brochures with regard their workers’ compensation and for employees’ leaves of absences for family and health concerns.
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