$15 wage now law in NY, Calif.

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Restaurants in New York and California will soon be impacted by wage hikes for their workers, as the governors of each state Monday signed into law respective measures to raise their state’s minimum wage to $15, the highest state wage in the nation. 

In California, the increase will begin phasing in on Jan. 1 of next year, with the minimum rising to $10.50 an hour for businesses with 26-plus employees and growing annually until it hits $15 an hour in 2022. Smaller businesses will be given an extra year, until 2023, to comply.

After the $15 level is reached, the minimum will rise at the rate of inflation.

“This is about economic justice; it’s about people,” California Governor Jerry Brown said in a release. “This is an important dayit’s not the end of the struggle, but it’s a very important step forward.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the complex $15 wage plan passed by the state legislature last week, which raises the minimum wage in parts of the state at different rates, starting this year, and allows for a pause in the increases to assess their economic impact.

Cuomo also signed a provision requiring that workers receive up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for matters such as caring for a new baby or a sick family member.

Earlier this year, Oregon enacted what was at the time the highest state wage in the nation, setting the minimum in the Portland area at $14.75. 

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