Labor unions have been pushing a "straight to $15" plan from the get-go, but the California Restaurant Association and members, in collaboration with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, made it clear that such a sweeping and blunt increase would devastate local restaurants and jobs.
The new minimum wage will be:
- July 1, 2016: $10.50 per hour
- July 1, 2017: $12.00
- July 1, 2018: $13.25
There is a one-year deferral for small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. They included an exemption for training wages for youth 17 years old or younger for the first 160 hours of employment.
There is no Total Earnings exemption for employees who make wages through commissions, tips or other means.
In a subsequent story in Pasadena Now ("California Restaurant Association Slams Pasadena's Decision to Raise the Minimum Wage"), CRA expressed disappointment in the Council's decision, stating "This action will cost many working families their jobs, increase prices for consumers and lead to the closure of small businesses, hitting women and minority-owned businesses and restaurants the hardest."
As the final ordinance is not yet formally ratified, CRA will continue to work closely with the local business coalition and city staff to craft the least detrimental, most business friendly final ordinance. CRA is also assessing options with local leaders to develop a political action committee to help elect more pro-business council members moving forward.