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San Francisco and Oakland Voters Approve Minimum Wage Hike

San Francisco voters approved Proposition J, a measure to gradually increase the city’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2017.  At $10.74, San Francisco already has the highest hourly wage of any U.S. city.  Nearby Oakland also approved a similar initiative, with hourly base pay being raised to $12.25 beginning in March of 2015. Oakland’s initiative is set to grow each year based on cost of living increases. 

This was a major year for minimum wage proposals, with measures on the ballots in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota; though those states were pushing for $8.50 and $9 per hour.   

Proposition J, championed by SF Mayor Ed Lee, generally received broad support, though several local businesses and nonprofits voiced opposition, citing the potential for staff reductions, as well as inevitable increases in product and service prices. The law excludes children under 18 who are employed in a subsidized employment program, as well as adults over 55 who work for a government-subsidized nonprofit.  

This article is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.