Mayor celebrates San Diego’s move to $15 minimum wage

Business

SAN DIEGO — Some workers in San Diego are set for a pay increase in the new year, as the city’s minimum wage reaches $15 — a rate that it’s been gradually working toward for years.

Statewide in 2022, the minimum wage in California for businesses with 25 employees or fewer will be $14. Employers with 26 employees or more will be required to pay at least $15 per hour.

But some parts of California have their own minimum wages, including the city of San Diego, which includes a minor tweak to the state law. Rather than setting two different rates based on the number of employees at a business, San Diego will simply require all employers to pay a minimum of $15 each hour starting Jan. 1, 2022.

It completes a process of gradual increases toward that rate that began in 2016. Mayor Todd Gloria held a news conference Thursday to celebrate the milestone now that it’s less than a month away.

“This a long day coming,” said Gloria, who helped author the city’s minimum wage ordinance while serving on San Diego City Council. “The ‘fight for 15’ is actually over now, here in San Diego.”

“We have been taking steps toward this milestone since 2016,” the mayor continued. “I’m so proud that we have finally fulfilled this goal. I can recall very vividly marching right around these businesses, around about that time, trying to explain to people how critical it was to give working people a pay raise. And while we were able to do that incrementally over time, the fight was always for 15 (dollars).”

You can enter your specific work address in San Diego’s minimum wage map if you’re unsure whether the change affects you. Remember, though — if you work for a company of more than 25 employees, you’re headed for a $15 minimum wage even if you don’t fall within city limits.

All California businesses — regardless of size — will reach $15 by 2023. Others have already surpassed that rate — in San Francisco, for example, minimum wage was $16.32 per hour in 2021.

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