This April, Governor Jerry Brown signed the landmark legislation that made California one of the first states in the nation to raise its statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour and give workers three earned sick days by 2022.
Starting on January 1, 2017 the law will gradually phase in the wage increase over the next six years and earned sick days will begin to accrue on July 2018. Additionally, the law has several provisions in place that allow the Governor to pause any scheduled increase if job growth and sales tax receipts for the prior year are negative, or if there are deficits in the budget.
On June 7, San Diego will also see a separate minimum wage increase initiative listed on the ballot as Proposition I. If passed, Proposition I will allow hardworking San Diegans earning the minimum wage to receive an immediate increase in their wages and earn 5 sick days the very next day, on June 8.
Proposition I will set the San Diego minimum wage at $11.50 an hour, three years ahead of Governor Brown’s measure. If Proposition I passes, San Diegans will earn more in the next two and half years, in comparison to the rest of the state, and they will have two additional sick days. The opportunity to earn five sick days will give 170,000 San Diegans the ability to stay home and care for their sick children or family members without having to worry about missing a day’s pay.
Both the statewide legislation and San Diego’s proposition are good news for working families that struggle to stay afloat earning minimum wage. Women make up almost half of the workforce in San Diego and their success is crucial to raising healthy families and creating a prosperous economy.
Women are more likely than men to work jobs that pay poverty wages, and typically lack access to earned sick days. In fact, more than a third (35.4 percent) of households headed by employed women live below the self-sufficiency standard, which is a measure of the real cost of living. In San Diego, raising the minimum wage will increase earnings for 1 in 3 women and reduce the local gender pay gap by 22 percent.
We are grateful to our California legislators and Governor Jerry Brown for increasing the minimum wage and helping to uplift working women and families.