San Francisco Voters To Consider $15/Hour Minimum Wage

In the wake of the Seattle City Council approving a plan to gradually increase the local minimum wage to $15/hour over the next three-to-seven years, the residents of San Francisco will be asked to decide on a 4-year schedule for raising pay in the city to the same level.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that city lawmakers, business interests and labor leaders hammered out the plan on Tuesday that would increase the city’s $10.74/hour wage floor to $12.25/hour on May 1, 2015. This would then increase to $13/hour in July 2016, followed by $14/hour a year later and the ultimate goal of $15/hour by July 2018.

Unlike the Seattle plan, which provides a longer rollout schedule for employers who contribute directly to workers’ health plans, the San Francisco proposal asks that all businesses face the same wage regulations.

“All San Francisco employers will be paying $15 an hour by 2018,” says Supervisor Jane Kim. “These are pure wages workers will be bringing home to their families.”

Of course, this all still requires the approval of voters, who will have their say on the wage increase when it shows up on the ballot next November.

It may also face legal challenges if certain types of businesses feel they are being unfairly targeted by the change. In Seattle, a trade group representing franchisees is trying to block the $15/hour plan, claiming that the city ordinance puts too much of a burden on them by putting franchises, which may have only a handful of employees, in the same group as large corporations with more than 500 workers.