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Saturday, December 2, 2023

California Department of Industrial Relations

Minimum wage in CA increases to $16 in 2024. Here's what locals are saying

By Eduardo Huijon Jr.December 2, 2023

The current minimum wage in California is $15.50.

However, the California Department of Industrial Relations says the hourly wage will increase to $16 on January 1, 2024.

Some community members are hopeful the increase will make a difference.

“Yes, I am thankful. But still, it does matter that that bottom line comes up because we all can survive,” said Jennifer Gosnell, San Luis Obispo resident. “I mean it’s hard out there. Especially here in San Luis Obispo. It’s really expensive.”

“I think the 50 cents are going to make a difference for anyone who’s living paycheck to paycheck,” said Mekayla Martin, San Luis Obispo resident. “Any increase in payment is going to be helpful, as long as rent doesn't increase, food doesn't increase, gas doesn’t increase. If everything stays the same that will be ok.”

The district manager for Mother’s Tavern, Kolton Schooley, said that they start their new employees at the minimum wage.

Providing a livable wage to his employees is important to him.

“I think it’s really important for especially local businesses and bigger businesses to be providing a livable wage for our employees, making sure that things like cost of living increase, all of that is constantly going up and being able to match pay that gives our employees a liveable wage is really important to us as a company,” said Kolton Schooley, Mother’s Tavern district manager.

Employees at Mother’s Tavern have the opportunity to get their wages increased over time after an evaluation.

“We have a lot of students and parents that work for us so making sure that they’re being able to provide for their situations in life is really important,” said Brandi Bryant, Mother’s Tavern District Manager.

Some locals have acknowledged that fast-food establishments in California will have an even higher minimum wage.

“I’ve heard that fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Jack in the Box, could be paying a minimum wage of $20 an hour,” said Javier Gonzalez, San Luis Obispo resident. “That raise could immensely help those who have a lower paying wage in the workforce.”

AB 1228, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2023, raised the minimum wage for some fast-food workers to $20 an hour. That goes into effect in April 2024.

The California Department of Industrial Relations says if your employer is not paying the minimum wage, workers can either file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or file a lawsuit in court against the employer to recover the lost wages.

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