CFRW Capitol Update November 29, 2023

California Federation of Republican Women
Officially Chartered by the National Federation of Republican Women
and the California Republican Party

From the Desk of Mary Ervin, CFRW President
Submitted by Jeanne Solnordal, CFRW Legislative Analyst
November 29, 2023


Minimum Wage

The minimum wage in California is currently $15.50/hour for all employers. The minimum wage will increase to $16 on January 1, 2024. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wages than the state’s rate. There is a list of City and County minimum wages in California maintained by UC Berkeley. 

SB-352 California Workforce Development Board:
minimum wage and housing.

SB 352, as amended, Padilla. California Workforce Development Board: minimum wage and housing. 

05/18/23May 18 hearing: Held in committee and under submission.

This bill would require the California Workforce Development Board, in conjunction with the Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development and the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, to examine housing costs by county county, regionally, and in the state and create a formula to ascertain how much the local minimum wage must be for a household with at least one full-time minimum wage worker must earn to reasonably afford a decent standard of living, including appropriate housing and basic expenses expenses, including nonhousing necessities, in that county. county, regionally, and in the state. The bill, commencing in 2024, would also require the California Workforce Development Board to recommend to the Legislature by December 15 of each year the minimum wage for a full-time minimum household with at least one full-time minimum wage earner to afford a decent standard of living, including appropriate housing and basic expenses, including nonhousing necessities, in each county county, regionally, and in the state and recommend a method to annually adjust figures to account for housing cost inflation and inflation broadly.

Author’s statement. “A growing percentage of California’s overall workforce are economically stranded. Unlike previous decades, entry-level minimum wage and low-wage earners remain locked in low wage jobs that keep them in substandard housing and without the means to build any savings. These workers are not progressing. They work more and more – up to 80-90 hours per week and yet they cannot afford basic housing. California workers and their families should be able to afford housing in the communities that they work. The cost of housing and goods and insufficient wages have incapacitated communities and created a class of individuals that cannot break the cycle of poverty. By creating a unique formula to calculate wage needs that meet basic housing costs in every county, SB 352 would provide a vital tool to ensure that the cost of housing and goods is reflected in our minimum wage. Utilizing this formula as a tool to address long-standing SB 352 (Padilla) Page 3 of 5 inequities, we can ensure California continues to advance the all-important work of breaking the cycle of poverty.”

New California Law Will Raise Minimum Wage For Health Care Workers

A doctor with patient in an exam room.
A female janitorial staff worker

SB 525, Durazo. Minimum wage: health care workers.

0/13/23Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 890, Statutes of 2023.
10/13/23Approved by the Governor.
09/26/23Enrolled and presented to the Governor at 2:30 p.m.

Existing law generally requires the minimum wage for all industries to not be less than specified amounts to be increased until it is $15 per hour commencing January 1, 2022, for employers employing 26 or more employees, and commencing January 1, 2023, for employers employing 25 or fewer employees. Existing law makes a violation of minimum wage requirements a misdemeanor.

This bill would establish 5 separate minimum wage schedules for covered health care employees, as defined, depending on the nature of the employer.

The new law doesn’t just apply to nurses, physicians, caregivers, medical residents, interns, or fellows. It also applies to workers who provide tangential support to healthcare facilities. This includes janitors, housekeepers, groundskeepers, guards, clerical workers, nonmanagerial administrative workers, food service workers, gift shop workers, technical and ancillary services workers, medical coding and medical billing personnel, schedulers, call centers and warehouse workers, and laundry workers.

The employee minimum wage will increase annually, commencing June 1, 2024, according to various schedules, depending on the applicable thresholds for the covered healthcare facility. The minimum wage ranges from $18 to $25 per hour with all healthcare facilities reaching $25 per hour by June 1, 2028.

The employee minimum wage will increase annually, commencing June 1, 2024, according to various schedules, depending on the applicable thresholds for the covered healthcare facility. The minimum wage ranges from $18 to $25 per hour with all healthcare facilities reaching $25 per hour by June 1, 2028.

The increased minimum wages under SB 525 will undoubtedly impact covered employers financially. To address the potential financial concerns, the new bill requires the state Department of Industrial Relations to develop a waiver program that will allow employers to apply for a one-year temporary pause or alternative phase-in schedule of the minimum wage requirements.

fast food workers

AB-1228 Fast food restaurant industry: Fast Food Council: health, safety, employment, and minimum wage.

09/28/23Chaptered by Secretary of State – Chapter 262, Statutes of 2023.
09/28/23Approved by the Governor.
A new California law means fast-food workers will be paid more and a new state entity will oversee working conditions in the industry.

On Sept. 28, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 1228, which sets a $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers starting on April 1, 2024. The fast-food employee minimum wage will increase annually until 2029, based on the Consumer Price Index. The law applies to chains of limited-service restaurants consisting of more than 60 establishments that share common branding, marketing and products.

As a result, “menu prices are going to have to increase, so it’s going to hit the consumer almost immediately,” said Alden Parker, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Sacramento, Calif. Additionally, “the penalty for [an employee’s] missed meal period goes up too, because that’s tied to the minimum wage.”

A white goat looking out a barn door.

AB-1099 Goat herders: labor protections. Stalled in committee.

AB 1099, as introduced, Megan Dahle. Goat herders: labor protections.

03/02/23Referred to Com. on L. & E.
02/16/23From printer. May be heard in committee March 18.
02/15/23Read first time. To print.

Existing law establishes specified labor protections for goat herders, as defined, relating to wages, meal and rest periods, lodging, and other conditions of employment. Existing law imposes civil penalties, as prescribed, for violations of these provisions. Existing law requires the Labor Commissioner, on or before January 1, 2024, to issue a report to the Legislature on wage violations, including minimum wage and overtime, affecting sheepherders and goat herders. These goat herder provisions are repealed on January 1, 2024.

This bill would delete the repeal language, thereby making the provisions operative indefinitely.

A baseball player sliding head first into a base.

SB-332 Minor league baseball players.

SB 332, Cortese. Minor league baseball players.
0/13/23 Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 866, Statutes of 2023.
10/13/23 Approved by the Governor.
From the Frisco RoughRiders to the Dayton Dragons, minor league baseball teams are a classic American tradition. But their players are not covered by some classic American laws: Players can earn less than the equivalent of minimum wage and don’t get paid overtime. Existing law provides that 8 hours of labor constitute a day’s work unless it is otherwise expressly stipulated in a collective bargaining agreement and requires that any work in excess of specified hours in one workday or one workweek be compensated at a rate higher than the regular rate of pay for the employee, as specified. Existing law authorizes, upon the proposal of an employer, employees of an employer to adopt a regularly scheduled alternative workweek that authorizes work by the affected employees for no longer than 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek without the payment to the affected employees of an overtime rate of compensation, as specified. Existing law prohibits an employer from employing an employee for a work period of more than 5 hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period, as specified, but, notwithstanding these provisions, existing law authorizes the Industrial Welfare Commission to adopt a working condition order permitting a meal period to commence after 6 hours of work if specified conditions are met. Under existing law, the Industrial Welfare Commission issues wage orders that regulates wages, hours, and working conditions in various occupations, including Wage Order No. 10-2001, which regulates the amusement and recreation industry. This bill would provide that these provisions do not apply to a person who is covered by a contract to play baseball at the minor league level with a labor organization that has at least 10 years of experience representing baseball players and who is compensated pursuant to the terms of a valid collective bargaining agreement that expressly provides for the wages, hours of work, working conditions of employees, payment for time worked during the off-season and spring training, and final and binding arbitration of disputes. The bill would require the Department of Industrial Relations to amend and republish Wage Order No. 10-2001 to provide that specified provisions of the wage order do not apply to a person subject to these provisions, as specified. Existing law requires an employer, semimonthly or at the time of payment of wages, to furnish an employee an accurate, itemized, written statement containing specified information regarding the amounts earned, hours worked, and the employee’s identity, among other things, subject to certain variations. Existing law provides that an itemized wage statement furnished by an employer pursuant to these provisions is not required to show total hours worked by the employee if, among other things, the employee is exempt from the payment of minimum wage and overtime under specified law. This bill would provide that an itemized wage statement furnished by an employer pursuant to these provisions is not required to show total hours worked by an employee if the employee is exempt from the payment of minimum wage and overtime under the bill’s provisions described above. Existing law, the Administrative Procedure Act, governs, among other things, the procedures for the adoption, amendment, or repeal of regulations by state agencies. Existing law also describes procedures for the promulgation of regulations by the Industrial Welfare Commission. This bill would exempt these provisions from the rulemaking procedures described above. Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest. This bill would make legislative findings to that effect. This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.