California Legislature Seeks annual “Automatic” Increases In Minimum Wage
Well, as if employers did not have enough to worry about now the California Legislatures want to add to thier financial woes by increasing minimum wage automatically every year! The current California minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. The Industrial Welfare Commission is not currently scheduling any hearings to consider modifying the wage orders to increase the minimum wage. The Legislature is moving forward on legislation on this issue however. In December, California Assemblyman Luis Alejo introduced a bill to increase California’s minimum wage to $8.50 effective January 1, 2012.
The bill, AB 10, further provides that the minium wage would rise each year starting in 2013, effective January 1, in proportion to any rise in the the California Consumer Price Index. Many in the business community do not oppose a modest minimum wage increase. However, most people are adamantly against mandatory annual increases tied to the CPI.
Alejo is aggressively pushing this bill. Last week he wrote an opinion piece in the editorial section of the San Jose Mercury News in support of the bill.
Currently the bill has yet to be voted on by the Assembly but has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment. Employers interested in minimum wage issues should keep a close eye on AB10 as it moves forward.
The impact may be more than you think. If this bill passes, it would mean that every business that has a minimum wage base (manufacturing operations, restaurants, fast food establishments, commissioned employees who do not make commissions greater than the hours worked, security guards, and automobile techs who are being paid twice minimum wage for having their own tools) will increase their services or products to meet the demand of the increase in payroll.
I will keep you posted.
If a business is already paying more than minimum wage, it doesn’t effect them. And the largest businesses of all- corporate monopolies- lie when they claim that their profit margins are so slim that they can’t afford to increase the lowest wages of all by a few cents. If that were the case, their stocks wouldn’t be so popular.
On the other hand, any increase in the prices of goods and services means an increase in state sales tax revenue.
Monopolies created by government mandate, such as utility companies, should be completely nonprofit. But monopolies created by intellectual property rights- patents and copyrights- present direct barriers to self sufficiency by legally prohibiting it. When people find themselves unemployed and unable to employ themselves, their only chance for survival is welfare. As long as we have monopolies, alone with state and local laws, ordinances, and zoning restrictions that inhibit or outright prohibit individual entrepreneurialism, we’re going to need unions and minimum wages and welfare to make up for it.
I’m not apposed to annual increases in the minimum wage tied to the CPI. In fact, I think it’s a necessary mechanic in order to ensure that the lowest paid workers in the state are at least able to maintain the minimum standard of living that is implicitly expected in all of our laws and regulations. The only reason to oppose it is to protect businesses that want to thrive on poverty wages.