By: Jim Tait, author of "You're that HR Guy" blog and founder of OPI National OutplacementSo on top of mandatory paid sick days for workers in San Fransisco, employers must now oblige with a minimum wage of $10.24. How nice.
San Francisco will be the first city in the United States to have a minimum wage that tops $10. As of Jan. 1, 2012, workers in the city by the bay will earn a living wage of at least $10.24 per hour.
Back in 2003, San Francisco approved a proposition that would require the city to increase the minimum wage annually utilizing a formula that correlates the rate of inflation with the cost of living. The state of California has a minimum wage of $8 and the federal government maintains a federal minimum wage of $7.25.
When Jan. 1, 2012 hits, San Francisco will have a minimum wage of $10.24/hr, up from $9.92/hr. Although city residents and community organizations say they are pleased with the minimum wage going up, they still find that it is an inadequate wage to live on due to the cost of living.
San Francisco Living Wage Coalition’s Karl Kramer told the AP that a decent wage for a single adult with no children would be $15/hr, which should double if that person chooses to have a child.
“It helps workers’ morale in a time of economic crisis; they feel that they’re able to tread water and get some relief from the recession,” said Kramer.
“So that drives me nuts, that as a chef, I have to cut my kitchen allowance,” said restaurant owner, Daniel Scherotter, in an interview with Active Investor. “What I pay for a waiter is more than double what Manhattan pays, it’s more than double what Chicago pays, and it’s four times what Boston pays. And those are other big, expensive, pro-labor cities. But I pay what they all pay added together for tipped employees.”
Small businesses have warned that they could conduct layoffs because of the various federal, state and local taxes and other city taxes. Also, business owners are forced to pay between an extra $1.23 and $1.85 per hour per employee for healthcare coverage. Additionally, businesses are mandated to give employees nine paid sick days annually. San Francisco charges business 1.5 percent in payroll taxes.
Currently, the state with the lowest minimum wage is Wyoming with $5.15, but it could be lowered to $2.13 for employees that receive tips. States that maintain some of the highest minimum wages are Connecticut ($8.25), Illinois ($8.25), Massachusetts ($8.00), Nevada ($8.25), Oregon ($8.50), Vermont ($8.15) and Washington ($8.67).