San Francisco $15 Minimum Wage Going to Polls

San Francisco was the first city in the nation to implement a citywide minimum wage, and now they are pushing the envelope again. A motion to let San Francisco voters decide whether to increase the City minimum wage to $15 per hour over four years passed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Proposition J, which will appear on the November 4, 2014 ballot, could increase the City’s existing rate of $10.74 to $15 per hour in four stages.

Proposed Phases of San Francisco Minimum Wage Rate Increase

  • May 1, 2015: $12.25 per hour
  • July 2016: $13 per hour
  • July 2017: $14 per hour
  • July 2018: $15 per hour

Beyond the 2018 planned increase, the rate would be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The $15 rate would tie the minimum wage rates of Seattle and Seatac.

The San Francisco minimum wage has a good shot at the polls according to a San Francisco Chronicle survey. Fifty-nine percent of likely voters said they support increasing the San Francisco minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Effects of the San Francisco Minimum Wage Increase

Roughly 23 percent of San Francisco’s workforce would receive a pay raise if ballot measure Prop J passes. A Berkley study concluded that the increase would have minimal impact on businesses:

“Our analysis of the existing economic research literature suggests that businesses will adjust to modest increases in operating costs mainly through reduced employee turnover costs, improved work performance, and a small, one-time increase in restaurant prices.”

But not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of such a large jump in the rate. The infamous Koch brothers are funneling money into media campaigns to convince San Francisco residents to vote no on Prop J. Opponents argue that employers and local government will pass on the cost of the wage increase to the public. The San Francisco Controller’s Office estimates that the $15 minimum wage would increase City government cost $145 million within the first four years. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association also is opposed to Proposition J. They estimate significant price hikes, hiring freezes, and staff reductions.

San Francisco Required Workplace Postings

If the City raises the minimum wage, San Francisco employers will need to display revised versions of the San Francisco Minimum Wage posting. The posting along with other postings required by the City of San Francisco are part of the GovDocs San Francisco City Posting Package.

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