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New minimum wage for health workers in California delayed: Why and when is the new date?

California Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators have agreed to delay implementing a new minimum wage for health care workers in the state.

El salario mínimo actual en California es de $16 por hora y aumentará una vez más para 2025. Te explicamos a cuánto incrementará.
Nyimas LaulaREUTERS

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom and state legislators have come to an agreement to delay the implementation of a new minimum wage for health care workers in the state until at least Oct. 15 to help balance California’s budget.

The agreement announced on Saturday will affect about 426,000 health care workers. The implementation of the new rate will hinge on the Golden State’s finances.

It will only take effect if state revenues between July and September rise at least 3% higher than official projections. If this is not achieved, the hike will be postponed further to January at the earliest.

The minimum wage increase was scheduled to begin on July 1.

California’s high minimum wages

California is one of the states that have a minimum wage higher than the federal rate of $7.25 per hour. It’s also one of the states with the highest base salaries in the country, with the minimum wage for most workers in the state set at $16 per hour. Fast food employees began receiving a minimum salary of $20 per hour beginning April 1.

New legislation was also passed to increase the base rate for health care workers to $25 per hour to be phased in over the next ten years.

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The wage hike will benefit more than 400,000 employees of hospitals, dialysis clinics and other facilities, although it does not apply to doctors or nurses.

These were the proposed increases which were supposed to be enforced on July 1:

  • 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 freestanding 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 healthcare employees will increase their minimum wage to $21 per hour in 2024, $23 in 2026, and $25 by 2028.