Bay Area city votes to hike minimum wage to $13

By From page A5 | June 06, 2014

RICHMOND — A San Francisco Bay Area city is set to have the highest minimum wage in the state.

The Richmond City Council voted this week to raise the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour by 2018, the Contra Costa Times reported Wednesday.

That would be a little more than $2 higher than San Francisco’s current minimum wage, which is currently the state’s highest, according to the newspaper. The state minimum wage, which is currently $8, will rise to $10 an hour in 2016, though a pending bill would also raise it to $13 an hour.

The Richmond measure exempts businesses that pay less than 800 hours of employee wages over a two-week period from the $13 wage. They would pay the state minimum wage.

It also allows businesses that get more than 50 percent of their income from transactions where the point of sale is outside the city to pay an intermediate wage between the city’s minimum wage and the state minimum wage.

Supporters said the exceptions were needed to ensure businesses did not leave the city.

“The argument that we should do it simply is simply wrong,” said Councilman Jim Rogers, who pushed for the exemptions. “Businesses have said they will leave.”

Opponents, including Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, called the exemptions unfair and said they would create confusion.

Richmond’s minimum wage hike would be phased in over several years, rising to $9.60 in January, $11.52 in 2016, $12.30 in 2017 and then $13 in 2018. The wage would be pegged to inflation after that.

Richmond’s poverty rate was above the state average from 2008 to 2012, according to the most recent census data.

The minimum wage measure is expected to pass a second and final reading later in June.

In Washington state, the city of Seattle has approved an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it the highest in the nation. The ordinance would take effect April 1, 2015, but would be phased in over several years.


Information from: Contra Costa Times, http://www.contracostatimes.com

The Associated Press

The Associated Press


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • CD BrooksJune 06, 2014 - 6:20 am

    Washington State just passed a similar law. We were planning a trip there soon but now I don’t think we’ll go. Fortunately I never set foot in Richmond so won’t have to concern myself about that city. Until it becomes impossible to shop elsewhere, I will boycott every business that raise their minimum wage form this day forward. IMO $8 an hr. is too much. $13-$15 an hr. will make it impossible for some families to go out for a lousy fast food dinner. It may all be relevant but so was $5 an hr. I would like the minimum wage to be frozen if not reversed.

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  • rlw895June 06, 2014 - 9:45 am

    I wonder how much employee wages at a fast food place affect the price of food. It depends a lot on the volume. If an minimum wage employee is credited with $200 in sales over an hour and gets a $2/hour raise in wages and benefits, the price of those sales would have to go up 1% to cover it.

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  • Mr. PracticalJune 06, 2014 - 7:43 pm

    CD, it was actually the City of Seattle. The City Council approved a $15 minimum wage. rlw, you've obviously never owned a restaurant. No one looks at it that way. Here's how it works. Most fast food needs to be at no more than 50% of sales in total labor and food cost. Due to the recession, most restaurants have already cut labor to the bone to avoid raising prices. During the recession, nearly every cost of business has increased and revenues have dropped. In California, due to the drought, beef and produce cost have increased dramatically. Some restaurants have raised prices. Others are taking the hit in profit, hoping that it will be temporary. If the new proposed minimum wage bill passes here in California, the minimum wage will increase to $13 an hour in 2017. That's a 62% increase over a 3-year period. When the minimum wage goes up $1, the impact on the employer is $1.20 to $1.75 depending on the industry, because of payroll taxes and workers comp premiums (premiums are a base rate times payroll for a given classification). The impact per 8 hour shift is over $1,000 a month. So, if a restaurant has the equivalent of 10 full-time employees, they will assume $10,000 a month in additional payroll costs. They are also going to receive pressure from non minimum wage employees to increase their pay in a relative manner. Remember I said that they've already cut labor as much as they can. The only place to go is menu prices. Raising menu prices does not guarantee more revenue. You won'be be paying 1% more for that burger. The restaurant will be out of business or out of state.

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  • CD BrooksJune 06, 2014 - 8:23 pm

    Mr. Practical, thanks for the information. We can always count on you for the "good stuff!" I'll be going through Seattle but nearer the Canadian border. Suck it Seattle!

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  • PornacJune 06, 2014 - 7:28 am

    These working folks don't deserve it! They should continue to collect food stamps as they work full time. Keep the money going to the corporations who deserve lots of money.

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  • Get Some Money!June 06, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    Now that this rush for 'wage envy' is getting close to home, maybe Fairfield/Suisun/Vacaville ought to send some of the business boys down there to see what they can poach.

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