California commits to $15 an hour minimum wage

State Capitol Sacramento California

The US state of California is to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

The minimum wage will rise from the current $10 an hour to $10.50 an hour in January 2017, and $11 an hour in January 2018. It will then rise by $1 a year until it reaches $15 an hour in January 2022.

Organisations with 25 employees or less will be given an additional year to implement the increases, with the $10.50 an hour rate coming into force in January 2018, reaching $15 an hour in January 2023.

Once the $15 an hour rate comes into effect for all organisations, wages are expected to rise by up to 3.5% a year in line with inflation.

California is the first US state to commit to increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour on a state-wide basis. Approximately 2.2 million hourly workers in California are paid the minimum wage.

California governor Jerry Brown said: “California is proving once again that it can get things done and help people get ahead.

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“This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible way and provides some flexibility if economic and budgetary conditions change.”

Christine Owens, executive director at the National Employment Law Project, added: “California’s $15 minimum wage will mean big raises for more than one in three workers in the state, reversing years of falling pay.”