Emeryville City Council charges forward with nations highest minimum wage increase
Mayor Ruth Atkin stated her desire for Emeryville to “make history” while in attendance with three other Councilmembers at a recent Berkeley “Fight for $15” rally. It looks like council is posed to do this very thing as they voted to move forward with this plan on Tuesday. Labor groups working for hotels and other corporations flooded chambers and successfully tuned out the voice of Small Business. A long shot attempt to petition for an impact study to transparently disclose the effects on youth labor, net employment and the cost of goods & services for these small businesses was for naught and largely dismissed.
The second reading and final vote is anticipated to occur May 19. The ordinance would go into effect 30 days after the adoption of the ordinance or upon the effective date specified in the ordinance (proposed to be July 1st), whichever is later.
Emeryville votes for the highest minimum wage in the country
By Roland Li
The Emeryville City Council voted Tuesday night to raise the city’s minimum wage to nearly $16 per hour by 2019, the highest specified level in the country. The vote came despite concerns from some small business owners that they won’t be able to compete with neighboring businesses in other cities.
The ordinance will go into effect on July 1 when small businesses with 55 employees or less will be required to pay $12.25 per hour. Companies with more than 55 employers will be required to pay $14.44 per hour. The wages will increase based on cost-of-living increases and will converge for both large and small companies by 2019.
Emeryville’s minimum wage will rise faster than in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, who have all adopted minimum wage increases above the state’s current $9 per hour. Emeryville will also outpace Seattle, which passed a law to increase minimum wages to $15 per hour by January 2018. San Francisco’s minimum wage is $12.25 per hour and set to rise to $15 by 2018. The changes come during a national debate over income inequality and a new effort from the Democratic Party to increase the national minimum wage to $12.
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