Additionally, this bill was proposed prior to the $15 minimum wage being enacted and, under current law, would lead to a $30 minimum wage on Thanksgiving. In 2015, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez failed to garner the votes necessary to get the bill approved by the State Assembly.
After several meetings with the author’s office urging them to exempt the restaurant community, most restaurants were exempted - except those with 500 or more employees and located within a grocery store or retail establishment. Despite these amendments, the CRA continued lobbying against the proposal in attempts to get all restaurants removed from the pay mandate.
Given that this bill had been substantially narrowed to only apply to retail establishments, grocery stores and restaurants within a grocery store or retail establishment employers with 500 or more employees, lawmakers began voting in support of the bill as it made its way through the legislative process.
On the last day of this legislative year, Assemblymember Gonzalez put her bill up for a vote of the full Assembly and expected it to win approval. However, the CRA’s advocacy team had been working to oppose the bill with individual assemblymembers and was successful in turning former supporters into opponents, using the argument that their previous support for the proposal was in a different context and prior to the enactment of the $15 minimum wage pathway. Lawmakers, contemplating the potential mandate of a $30 minimum wage on Thanksgiving under AB 67, abruptly killed the proposal.