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San Francisco Wage Increase Has Some Residents Cheering

A 2003 law passed by a city ordinance requires business owners to follow San Francisco mandatory cost-of-living or inflation increases to the minimum wage. The minimum wage is set to increase from $9.92 to $10.24 in 2012.

While employees say that the increase will help them pay the bills in 2012, some business owners are again complaining that it will increase their overhead costs to unmanageable levels. The ordinance, however, was passed by a majority of San Francisco residents in 2003 and is unlikely to change. The ordinance is similar to ordinances in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M.

The minimum wage paid by businesses to employees in San Francisco must be adjusted each year to match the increases to the city’s consumer price index. “It’s been going on for enough years that employers know to expect an increase that’s consistent with inflation,” the manager of the city’s Officer of Labor Standards Enforcement said. “It provides some protection for San Francisco’s most vulnerable low-wage workers, and it also stimulates our local economy.”

San Francisco employers who fail to comply with the minimum wage can be held accountable for wage and hour violations.

Source: Wall Street Journal “New Minimum Wage Cuts Both Ways,” 12/22/2011

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