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California is often a leader when it comes to setting the bar on wage related legislation and the minimum wage is at the front of the line. Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The Governor commented that this is part of living in a “moral community”.

The bill SB3 which was signed during a morning ceremony at the Ronald Reagan State Building in downtown Los Angeles had been opposed by Republicans and business leaders. The Governor remains of the opinion that minimum wages make sense morally, socially and politically while perhaps not making so much sense economically.

Presently, California’s minimum wage stands at $10 an hour. Under the new legislation minimum wage was increased to $10.50 in January of 2017 with another scheduled increase to take place in January of 2018 when it will go up to $11 an hour. The minimum wage will then go up by a dollar in each of the following years until it reaches $15 an hour in 2022. After 2022 it will continue to go up by 3.5 percent each year to account for inflation.

There are many opinions on both sides of this issue. Of course, low paid workers are excited that they will be getting a bigger piece of the pie and most liberals see this as a victory on the path to a society were no segment will be forced to live poverty. On the other side of the coin are conservatives and business owners who see this causing small business owners to suffer making it even harder to stay above water and potentially causing many to go out of business.

Many believe this will simply push large businesses into considering automation as a replacement for human workers which would totally defeat the purpose of the legislation. It is common knowledge that McDonalds is already becoming more automated. Whether other larger businesses will follow their lead is yet to be seen.

By UNIKO Media Group