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Wage and hour laws: California elevates hourly wage

Hourly workers in California may have just gotten a boost in their wages. The current lawmakers voted to increase the minimum wage for the lowest paid workers. The new change in the wage and hour laws will be phased in over a thirty-six month period.

The increase will mean a $2 an hour raise by the time it is fully implemented. California will now have the highest minimum wage law in the country. The current federal minimum is $7.25 an hour. Many areas of the state already had a higher mandated pay level in place. Washington D.C. is the next highest at a little more than $9 an hour.

The new law still needs the governor to sign it in order to be official, but it has been reported that he is behind the measure. However, there are many in the state that have expressed concern that the higher wage will lead to economic problems for businesses. For the many lower paid workers, however, the bill may allow them to provide a slightly higher standard of living for their families.

The issue of a higher minimum wage has been debated for the past several months. Many states have discussed raising the limits, however, most have not acted to do so. For the workers in California who may benefit from the increase, it is probably welcome news. In the meantime, all employees in the state are entitled to a fair work environment and the mandated pay for the work that they do. There are provisions in place in the form of wage and hour laws that can help ensure that the basic rights of workers are safeguarded.

Source: Washington Times, California passes minimum wage hike to $10 an hour, Cheryl K. Chumley, Sept. 13, 2013

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