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$20 minimum wage in California: Who will receive it and when

A law passed in 2023 will increase the minimum wage for more than 500,000 workers in California to $20 per hour. These are the jobs with the new rate.

Una ley aprobada este 2023 aumentará el salario mínimo de más de 500,000 trabajadores en California a $20 por hora. Aquí los detalles.
Jose Luis GonzalezREUTERS

California is one of the states in the country that has a minimum wage higher than the federal minimum salary of $7.25. Currently, the state rate is $15.50 per hour and will rise next year to $16. However, hundreds of thousands of workers are eligible for a $20 minimum wage.

Who will earn $20 an hour in California and when?

At the end of September this year, California governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law that will increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour for more than 500,000 fast food workers.

The new rate for these workers will apply to restaurants with at least 60 locations nationwide, with the exception of restaurants that make and sell their own bread, such as Panera Bread.

The law goes into effect April 1, 2024. Once this takes place, fast food workers in California will have the highest guaranteed base salary in the industry.

In addition, this salary could increase year over year. The legislation provides for the creation of a nine-member Fast Food Council made up of representatives of the restaurant industry and its workers.

This council would have the power to increase the minimum wage each year until 2029. The increases would be 3.5% or based on the change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), whichever is lower.

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Minimum wage to increase for all workers in California

Under current law, the minimum wage in the Golden State can increase by 3.5% each year or the percentage change in CPI-W, whichever is less.

For this year, data for the period from July 2022 to June 2023 was compared with data from July 2021 to June 2022. According to calculations, the CPI-W increased by 6.16% during the period from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, compared to the previous 12-month period.

However, as this is a higher percentage, the state minimum wage increases only 3.5% for 2024. Therefore, it will rise from $15.50 to $16 per hour starting January 1, 2024.

Another new law was passed to increase salaries for certain employees of hospitals, dialysis clinics and other facilities, not including doctors and nurses. These will be the increases, which will take effect beginning on June 1, 2024:

  • Dialysis clinics and large health systems with more than 10,000 workers: Minimum wage of $23 an hour in 2024, $24 in 2025 and $25 in 2026.
  • Hospitals with a high mix of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients and independent rural hospitals: $18 per hour in 2024 and increase 3.5% annually to $25 in 2033.
  • Community clinics: $21 per hour in 2024, increasing to $22 in 2026 and $25 in 2027.
  • Other covered healthcare facilities: $21 per hour in 2024, $23 in 2026, and $25 per hour in 2028.