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Bills helping minimum-wage workers clear first hurdles

Increase to $15 per hour; paid sick leave on the table

OW Staff Writer | 6/5/2014, midnight

About 1.5 million full-time, year-round workers or about 14 percent of people in California, according to U.S. Census data, are paid the $8 minimum wage.

If legislation SB 935—passed by the State Senate and headed to the State Assembly—is approved, the wages for these workers would increase to $15 by 2016.

A second piece of legislation, AB 1522, would require employers to give minimum-wage workers three paid sick days per year after 90 days of employment. It has cleared the Assembly, and is now headed toward the Senate.

These proposed laws follow an increase signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last year. This raised the wage, effective July 1, 2014, from $8 to $10 per hour (up a dollar each year ending in Jan. 1, 2016.)

California’s minimum wage is among the highest in the country, although it hasn’t been raised since 2008.

According to published reports, Gov. Brown has not indicated any support for signing this new increase.