Minimum wage increase in California triggers deliberation

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ptist University who are in or will be entering the workforce are subject to the effects of the minimum wage bill that is in process.

Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, Vermont and Washington all exceed California’s minimum wage of $8 per hour, regardless of the fact that California has a higher cost of living.

According to the minimum wage bill, employee wages will be raised to $8.25 in 2014, $8.75 in 2015 and $9.25 in 2016 and that it would increase after 2016 based upon the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Steve Smith, communications director at the California Labor Federation, said that oftentimes, minimum wage workers are only thought to be college students trying to make a few extra dollars when in fact, a majority of the time they are single parents who were laid off because of the recession and are working to support an entire family.

Although these jobs do sometimes go to people whose well-being does not necessarily depend on them, many times the employees working minimum wage jobs are actually dependent on this income to support a family.

“It is long overdue that workers in California got a raise,” Smith said. He went on to say that the California Labor Federation is highly supportive of the raise in minimum wage and that there really are no negative repercussions.

On the other side of the spectrum, professionals are not entirely sure of the effects that the minimum wage bill will have on the economy.

Mike Bishop, associate director of career services at CBU, said, “It seems like annually, small employers are constantly being challenged by the state; either through a minimum wage bill or through the federal government … How in the world are they going to take on these expenses and still maintain a profit that allows them to stay in business?”

Only time will tell the actual effects the bill will have on the working class in California.

About Catrina Head

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